ISLAMABAD - Majority members of the parliament and the provincial assemblies whose membership stands suspended for not submitting statements of their assets and liabilities to the Election Commission of Pakistan are afraid of investigations.

Sources in the commission confirmed Tuesday that nearly two dozen of 336 suspended MPs have filed statements of their assets and liabilities and those of their spouses and dependents.

On the other hand, parliamentary sources told The Nation that many MPs were not forthcoming for fear of investigation of their assets by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, some members cited plans of the Election Commission to verify assets of all the lawmakers. However, they sounded optimistic that their fellow suspended members of the parliament and provincial assemblies would file their declarations soon.

According to the sources, the ECP plans to verify the declarations submitted by the lawmakers. They, however, did not confirm or reject the plans, but said the commission would soon discuss the issue.

The sources cited a law which allows the commission to hold an enquiry into the assets of parliamentarians, but it was never used in the past.

The purpose of year-wise declaration of assets is to keep an eye on increase in the lawmakers’ wealth and any substantial change found in their personal wealth will be investigated.

“If the commission gives approval, its recently revived Political Finance Wing will probe the asset details of the lawmakers with the help of relevant departments,” the sources added. They said a meeting of ECP would be summoned soon regarding verification of the assets.

On October 15, the ECP suspended the membership of 336 members of the two houses of the parliament and four provincial assemblies for not submitting statements of their assets and those of their spouses as well as dependents to the commission.

A statement issued by the ECP said: “Sub-section (1) of Section 25A of the Senate (Election) Act, 1975, provides that every member of the upper house shall submit a statement of assets and liabilities of his/her own, spouse and dependents annually to the commission by the 30th of September each year.”

“Sub-section (3) of Section 25A ibid further provides that the commission shall, by the 15th of October each year, notify the names of the members who fail to file statements of assets and liabilities within the period specified in Sub-section (1) thereof and by an order, direct that such member shall cease to function till such statement is submitted.”