KARACHI - The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has moved the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking the disqualification of PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari for concealing his assets.

PTI Sindh MPA Khurram Sherzaman on Thursday filed an application with the Provincial Election Commissioner in Karachi, claiming the Pakistan Peoples Party leader had not declared an apartment, he allegedly owns in the United States, in his nomination form for 2018 general elections.

Asif Zardari is a member of the National Assembly as he was elected from NA-213 (Shaheed Benazir Abad) constituency of Sindh. He may lose his parliamentary seat as well as earn a ban on contesting elections in future if the claim about his alleged property, Belaire Condominiums, located at 524 East 72nd Street in New York, turns out to be true.

Though Provincial Election Commissioner Muhammad Yousaf Khan Khattak accepted the application, but he informed the PTI MPA that any action on it would be taken by the ECP’s Islamabad headquarters.

Sherzaman has attached with his application documents of the said property along with Asif Zardari’s Form B which, he said, shows that the PPP leader did not declare this property in his election nomination.

The PTI leader in his application urged the Provincial Election Commissioner to examine the case calling the hiding of the property a serious violation of the law and pointing out that “Mr Zardari is a former president of Pakistan and co-chairs one of the major political parties of this country”.

Khurrum Sherzaman, who is also PTI Karachi President, said that they will not forgive anyone involved in corruption or corrupt practices and expressed the hope that people would receive good news on December 24 (Monday).

Speaking outside the Election Commissioner Office, along with PTI’s Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Sherzaman said the party has submitted documentary evidence against former President Asif Ali Zardari.

He claimed the PPP co-chairman hid his property abroad and he did not declare it on purpose. “We have requested the Election Commission to investigate this matter and declare Asif Ali Zardari ineligible to hold public office on the basis of evidences we have provided.”

The PTI leader further stated, “The corruption of Asif Ali Zardari is a public matter now. Nobody is unaware that Asif Zardari took money out of this country. The entire Pakistan knows the countries where the properties were purchased.

“Zardari has made numerous world records in corruption. We [also] want NAB to investigate this new case. It is a matter of vital importance to investigate how the property was purchased. We wish to bring back the looted money of the public. We will not allow Asif Ali Zardari to go unpunished.”

Speaking on the occasion, Firdous Naqvi said, “If a person does not remain Sadiq and Ameen, he should be declared ineligible. Asif Ali Zardari is an experienced politician who is ex-President of Pakistan. If he did not show one of his properties in his assets, it means he wanted to hide it. Now the proofs are in front of the public and Asif Ali Zardari’s lie has been caught. We urge the Election Commission to take immediate notice.”

To a query, Sherzaman replied, “You cannot hide any property in a country like America. If you know the address of the property, you can go to a website and obtain its data. We have submitted the documents; [after Nawaz Sharif] next turn is for Asif Ali Zardari [to face accountability]. He should prove himself innocent.

“The law enforcing agencies are independent in PTI’s government. If any of our leaders is involved in corruption, please approach the appropriate agencies and prove it. Our politics is not based on serving own interests. We have decided not to give NRO to anyone who is corrupt. People who looted [national wealth] and spread destruction in the country must go to jail.”