ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday accepted papers of 144 out of the total 184 candidates who had applied for contesting Senate election as majority of the rejected candidates belonged to FATA who had not submitted their tax returns.

According to ECP, the last date for scrutiny of nomination papers resulted in rejection of 44 candidates across the country with majority of invalid documents submitted by Senate aspirants from FATA as out of the 43 candidates from FATA, 20 were accepted while 23 nominations proved to be invalid.

The most prominent among FATA candidates include former parliamentarians Munir Khan Orakzai from Orakzai Agency and Akhunzada Chattan from Bajaur Agency.

The ECP also accepted the nomination papers of Information Minister Pervez Rashid, Raja Zafarul Haq, Minister for States and Frontier Region (SAFRON) Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qayyum, Mushahidullah Khan, Chaudhary Tanveer, Ghous Mohammad Niazi, Nihal Hashmi, Khawaja Mehmood Ahmed, Saleem Zia, Malik Nosheer, Najma Hameed, Kiran Dar and Ayesha Raza Farooq.

According to ECP, candidates whose nomination papers were rejected can file appeal on February 23-24 for clarifying the missing documents in their nomination papers, adding that the commission would hear the cases on February 26 and 27.

The ECP rejected nomination papers of three candidates on general seats and two aspirants on seats reserved for non-Muslims in Balochistan followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where two candidates were declared as invalid for contesting the polls.

No candidate contesting from federal capital was declared as invalid although PPP's contender Nargis Fazi Malik had challenged the documents of PML-N's nominee Raheela Magsi.

The ECP on Friday rejected the appeal of Nargis Malik.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission Balochistan on Friday completed the scrutiny process of nomination forms submitted for the Senate elections.

Provincial Election Commissioner Syed Sultan Bayazeed said, "We have completed scrutiny of 42 nomination forms submitted for the elections on vacant seats of Senate."

He said the nomination forms of four candidates were rejected for not completing legal requirements, while those of 38 accepted.

He said the candidates from Balochistan would contest elections for 12 vacant seats of Senate.

He said that nomination forms of Jan Achakzai and Mir Faiq Jamali were not accepted due to legal reasons.

Final list of the candidates whose forms were accepted would be displayed by February 28.