MULTAN - The scrutiny of nomination papers has become a nightmare for the candidates aspiring to contest general election 2013. The returning officers have launched a 'ruthless cleansing operation' in terms of papers' scrutiny after receiving clear orders from the Election Commission. The questions asked by the returning officers on a vast array of topics like Islam, geography, Pakistan and its ideology, educational qualifications of the candidates, their income and their personal lives have put them in trouble. Many candidates were seen celebrating after qualifying the scrutiny process. "It's a bigger success than winning the elections," said a candidate while clearing sweat from his forehead after coming out of the office of returning officer.

It is anticipated that the candidates qualifying the tough scrutiny process will work for the betterment of the public. The scrutiny is in full swing and it will continue till April 7. The candidates feel helpless as they have to appear before the returning officer without any protocol along with just their nominees. On the other hand the returning officers ask very tough questions from the candidates without any hesitation as a result of which many candidates get panic and fail to answer the questions. Sources disclosed that when asked about their assets, many candidates failed to give correct details despite holding entire record in their hands. Political observers are of the opinion that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the politicians appear much weaker than the returning officers.

Qureshi cleared in scrutiny: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi was cleared as the returning officer held the scrutiny of candidates for NA-150 here on Friday. Prominent among others who got okay nod for contesting election included former MNA and PML-N candidate Rana Mahmoodul Hassan, PPPP candidate Babu Nafees Ansari and JI candidate Abdul Mohsin Shaheen. The APML candidate Sultan Mahmood Malik could not qualify the scrutiny process while the papers of PTI District President Ijaz Janjua, PPPP district coordinator Khalid Hanif Lodhi and many others were rejected.