The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday told the Sindh High Court (SHC) that it is ready to hold an inquiry against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Faryal Talpur and Sohail Anwar Siyal.

The ECP submitted its reply as the SHC heard petitions seeking disqualifications of Talpur, Siyal and Manzoor Wassan among others for holding Iqamas (work permits) of certain countries and not disclosing them in their nomination papers.

As a two-judge bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar began hearing the petitons, ECP’s counsel Shamsul Islam submitted a reply and said, “We have filed our response and are ready to hold an inquiry against Talpur and Siyal.”

However, the bench expressed disappointment at the ECP counsel’s response and said, “We have seen your reply and it says nothing. What is in a one-page reply, we know what work you are doing.”

Justice Ali further remarked, “We sought a detailed response and instead you submitted a one-page reply to simply fulfill your responsibility.”

“Are such replies submitted in court?” the bench further asked.

The ECP’s counsel then said that Talpur’s lawyer, Farooq H Naik, failed to appear in court for the hearing once again and contented that his junior should take the case forward.

However, the bench said, “How can the case move forward when the lawyer is not present? Ask Farooq Naik to appear for the next hearing or we will separate his case.”

Advocate Shamsul Islam further said, “Talpur did not mention her Iqama or assets in Dubai in her reply. Till a verdict is announced, she should be disqualified from holding public office.” 

The petitioner had stated that Talpur established a company in her daughter Aisha’s name in 2002 and hid the details from the ECP in her nomination papers.

Meanwhile, Sindh Assembly member Siyal also submitted a reply in the court today and said the petitioner is not a respondent and thus as per the Constitution he can only move the election tribunal. “The allegations leveled by the petitioner are false and baseless,” he added.

Furthermore, Siyal said that he submitted all tax documents to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). “I have shared all details in my income tax returns,” he said.

“There was no column to state whether I hold an Iqama in the declaration form,” he further said in his reply.

The petitioner had said that Talpur, Siyal and others were not Sadiq or Ameen as they had violated Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution by not disclosing details.

The hearing of the petitions was then adjourned till October 25.