ISLAMABAD – On the final day of initial scrutiny of nomination papers on Sunday, some prominent politicians had to face embarrassment when returning officers rejected their nominations, though most of them got clean chit for other constituencies.
PML-N stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s nomination papers were rejected for NA-53 (Rawalpindi-IV) and PP-7 (Rawalpindi- VII), however, his papers for NA-52 (Rawalpindi-III) were accepted. Former dictator President Gen (r) Musharraf’s papers for papers for NA-250 (Karachi-XII) were rejected but accepted for NA-32 (Chitral).
Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s papers for NA-51 (Rawalpindi-II), which includes his hometown Gojar Khan area, were also rejected over accusations of misappropriating funds and indulging in nepotism. His predecessor Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani is already out of the race as he announced to not contest the election.
Others who have eventually failed to get through in the first stage include Jamshaid Dasti, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich and Ayaz Amir. A good chunk of the former MPs were forced out on fake degree issue. Around 100 former MPs had not got their degrees verified from the Higher Education Commission while over a dozen MPs degrees were declared fake.
Among the prominent politicians whose nominations had been accepted are Nawaz Sharif (NA-68, NA-119, NA-120), Hamza Shahbaz (NA-119), Imran Khan (NA-1, NA-56, NA-122), Sheikh Rashid (NA-55), Fazlur Rehman (NA-24), Asfand Yar Wali (NA-7), Chaudhry Shujaat (NA-104), Pervez Elahi and Ahmed Mukhtar (NA-105), Faryal Talpur (NA-207), Ghinwa Bhutto (NA-250), Arbab Ghulam Rahim (NA-229), Humayun Akhtar (NA-124) and Manzoor Wattoo (NA-164, 167).
The returning officers have also cleared the nomination papers of Khursheed Shah (NA-199), Fakhar Imam (NA-156), Bushra Aitzaz (NA-124), Sumsam Bukhari (NA-145), Mian Aslam (NA-48), Mir Baz Khetran (NA-263), Aftab Shaban Mirani (NA-202), Zafarullah Jamali (NA-266), Mahmood Khan Achakzai (NA-259 and NA-289), Talal Bugti (NA-289), Ghulam Ahmed Bilour NA-1.
On Sunday, nomination papers of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan were accepted for another constituency, NA-1 (Peshawar-I), while papers of former Railway minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour were also accepted for the same constituency. Awami National Party’s chief Asfand Yar Wali’s papers were accepted from NA-7 (Charsada-I).
Candidature of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif for NA-120 (Lahore-III) was also approved on Sunday. The RO approved his nomination papers, rejecting the objections filed by a voter that Nawaz had left for Saudi Arabia after striking a deal with Pervez Musharraf. Nawaz’ nomination for two other constituencies has already been accepted.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid President Chaudhry Shujaat’s papers were accepted for NA-104 (Gujrat-I). Former federal minister and PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah’s nomination was accepted for NA-199 (Sukkar-II). Chief of Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rasheed was also given green light on Saturday to contest elections from NA-55 (Rawalpindi-VI).
The candidacy of Ch Nisar, who was Leader of Opposition in the outgoing national assembly, was rejected for NA-53 and PP-7 during the scrutiny process for not declaring accurate details about his assets. Former federal minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan submitted the objections to the Returning Officer, Additional Sessions Judge Malik Saeed Awan, that Chaudhry Nisar had not declared accurate details of his assets. The RO rejected his nominations after Nisar failed to satisfy the court. But his nomination for NA-52 was accepted after Nisar on Sunday produced his verified degrees before the RO in a reply to objections raised by a citizen.
Musharraf’s nomination papers for NA-250 were rejected on the basis of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, as the returning officer argued that the former president imposed emergency in the country and tried to influence the judiciary by sending chief justice of Supreme Court home by force. Musharraf’s papers for a Kasur constituency were also rejected earlier this week but he is not out of the race as his nomination for NA-32 (Chitral) was accepted on Sunday.
During the week-long scrutiny process across the country the returning officers scrutinised a record 24,094 nomination papers of candidates for general seats of both the national and provincial assemblies. After the completion of this process, the ECP has directed the State Bank, NAB and FBR to post all details of the candidates on their websites within 48 hours.