Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is all set to file a reference with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and the Prime Minister’s son in law Captain Safdar (Retd) on Monday, seeking their disqualification for concealing assets.
The reference, which will seek disqualification of senior PML-N leadership would be filed by PPP secretary general Sardar Muhammad Lateef Khosa; it would contend that the Prime Minister had misled the ECP while declaring the assets of his children, while all his declarations pertaining to his income tax returns before the electoral body had been proved inaccurate.
Talking to reporters, Khosa said that he along with Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Farooq H Naek, Syed Nayar Hussain Bukhari and other party leaders would file a reference in the Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday at 1pm.
Khosa said that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto had constituted a committee under his own chairmanship to look into the matter of filing a reference. He said “we will file a reference against the prime minister as we have all the documents and evidence to substantiate our claim”.
A letter by State Bank of Pakistan regarding bank defaulters would also be made part of the reference, he said, adding all the evidence would be presented before the ECP.
To a question about an incomplete ECP as its members are yet to be appointed, he said that ECP is a constitutional institution and its functioning will not stop in the absence of members.
“Under the constitution, the ECP members should be appointed within 45 days and the process will be completed within the given time as a committee has already been formed for the appointment of ECP members,” he added.
He said the reference prepared by People’s Party comprises around 1000 pages with “sufficient” evidence for the verdict of disqualification. It includes self-contradictory statements of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar as evidence.
The reference also accuses Prime Minister and four others of committing tax evasion and includes their tax statements, he said.
When asked whether the reference would be filed tomorrow (Monday) as the party had earlier announced it would file the reference on 23 June and backed out at the eleventh hour Khosa told Business Recorder on the phone that “we were still collecting evidence to strengthen our case at the time, besides we have now also fulfilled our democratic obligation as we gave enough time to the government to forge a consensus on terms of reference for the establishment of a judicial commission to probe the Panama Papers but the government is not interested in resolving the issue”.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has already filed the reference with ECP on June 24, seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for hiding his assets. PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid filed a 72-page reference with ECP, asking it to disqualify the prime minister under Articles 62 and 63.
An ECP official who wished not to be named said that references by PPP and PTI, seeking disqualification of the Prime Minister, and other key figures, would remain unattended till the appointment of its members as it is a constitutional requirement.
“Unless the four ECP members’ appointment that fell vacant on June 10 due to the simultaneous retirement of all the incumbents is completed, the Commission will be incomplete and can not perform its legal and constitutional functions,” he added.