'Toothless' Pak poll body can't scrutinise MPs' assets

Written by: Super Admin
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Islamabad, Mar 8(ANI): The declaration of assets made by Pakistani MPs have proved to be a futile exercise, as faulty provisions fails to empower the Election Commission (EC) to examine the written statements.

The data on the assets and liabilities of senators, compiled and printed by the EC, is full of inconsistent figures and discrepancies, but under the existing law, the EC cannot even write to a senator to inquire about any discrepancy.

EC Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said there was no legal procedure for the EC to evaluate the assets and liabilities of parliamentarians, due to which the members to go unpunished for providing statements with discrepancies and incorrect information.

"We simply collect and publish the information, as the law does not authorise the EC to examine the data on the assets and liabilities provided by parliamentarians," The Daily Times quoted Ishtiak, as saying.

"We are in the process of drafting a five-year strategic plan, which would be proposing constitutional, legal and administrative reforms to effectively address such concerns," he added.

Another EC official said no action could be taken against any discrepancies in the statements, unless "someone from the outside blew the whistle."

"Usually, political opponents take the opportunity to challenge or not to challenge such statements to settle scores," the source said.

A detailed calculation of the official record of assets and liabilities of 100 senators reveals that at least 42 senators have not provided information in the prescribed form pertaining to the actual cost and present value of immoveable property and details of their liabilities.

Of the 42 senators, 24 did not give the current value of assets; 10 were unable to provide the actual cost of their assets, whereas four senators gave similar figures for the actual cost nd present value of their assets. (ANI)

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