ISLAMABAD - As the process of scrutiny of candidates contesting general elections to be held on July 25 getting pace, the Election Commission of Pakistan said that particulars submitted by one hundred candidates have been found extremely dubious.

A report in this regard, compiled by the SNGPL and sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), states that it is owed hundreds of millions of rupees by a sizable list of aspiring lawmakers a bulk of whom are CNG station owners.

According to details, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak and Awami National Party leader Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour are two of many election hopefuls who are defaulters of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), the gas company has found during its scrutiny of candidates for the July 25 polls.

The biggest defaulter on the list, as per the report, is Amjad Khan Afridi a former MPA of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s who was expelled from the party. He owes the SNGPL Rs216,295,485.

Bilour, former minister for railways and among the more notable names on the list, owes Rs144,670,715, whereas the outstanding amount pertaining to PTI leader Khattak stands at Rs106,575,071 in one case and Rs82,422,320 in another.

Hamid Saeed Kazmi, former minister for religious affairs who belongs to the PPP, is also on the SNGPL list, although at Rs31, 500 the amount he owes pales in comparison to the rest.

SNGPL’s list of defaulters comes a day after the State Bank of Pakistan red-flagged more than 100 candidates and declared their particulars entered on their poll nomination papers as “extremely dubious”.

Meanwhile, the process of scrutiny of nomination papers filed by candidates for forthcoming general elections is continuing.

According to the ECP spokesperson, data of more than 19,500 candidates has been shared with the NAB, NADRA, FBR and the State Bank of Pakistan through an online system.    

Verification of about ten thousand nomination papers has so far been done with the help of online data scrutiny system. These nomination papers have now been forwarded to the returning officers.   

As per the election schedule, the scrutiny process will conclude on Tuesday next. Appeals against rejection or acceptance of nomination papers can be filed by 22nd of this month.

The Appellate Tribunals will decide the appeals by 27th, after which the revised list of candidates will be published on 28th of this month.

Candidates can withdraw their nomination papers by 29th and the electoral body will announce the final list of candidates on the same day.

The electoral symbols will be issued to candidates on 30th of this month.

Polling will be held on 25th of next month.

The spokesperson further said that a total of 21,482 nomination papers have been filed by candidates across the country for general elections.    

He said 6063 candidates are contesting for 342 seats of the National Assembly.

They include 5,473 candidates for general seats, 436 for seats reserved for women and 154 candidates for non-Muslim seats.

There are 2,700 candidates in the field for National Assembly and 6,747 for provincial assembly from Punjab, including Islamabad; 1346 for National Assembly and 3,626 for provincial assembly from Sindh; 992 for National Assembly and 1920 for provincial assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including FATA; and in Balochistan, 435 candidates are contesting for National Assembly and 1400 for provincial assembly seats.

A total of 436 people have filed nomination papers for the seats reserved for women in National Assembly. They include 236 candidates from Punjab, 76 from Sindh, 88 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 36 from Balochistan.

A total of 1255 candidates are in the field to contest for reserved seats for women in provincial assemblies. They are; 665 from Punjab, 213 from Sindh, 262 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 116 from Balochistan.

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There are 471 candidates vying for seats reserved for non-Muslims in all the four provinces. Out of them, 232 people have filed nomination papers from Punjab, 110 from Sindh, 73 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 56 from Balochistan.

 

 

MAQBOOL MALIK