While the deadline for declaring their assets looms, out of the 230 registered political parties, only 14 have submitted statements of their assets with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The last date for submitting party assets’ details, a mandatory requirement under the election laws, will expire on August 29 – in just three days.
Except for Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Awami Muslim League (AML), the leadership of no other mainstream political party has submitted details of their assets.
“Under Article 13 of the Political Parties Order 2002, every political party shall submit to the Election Commission, within 60 days from the close of each financial year, a consolidated statement of accounts of the party, duly audited by a Chartered Accountant. The last date for filing statement of accounts by Political Parties is August 29, 2013,” said a notification issued by the ECP.
The provision was added to the election laws during Musharraf’s military regime in an attempt to bring transparency in the electoral system in the country. However, all the mainstream parties fulfill it just as a cosmetic exercise.
Under the law, a certificate signed by the party leader must accompany the statement of accounts stating that no funds from any source prohibited under the Political Parties Order, 2002, were received by the party. The statement contains an accurate financial position of the party.
According to Article 14 of the Political Party Order 2002, a party, which fails to submit its statement of accounts under Article 13, will not be eligible to obtain election symbol for contesting elections for Majils-e-Shoora (Parliament) and provincial assemblies.
Those who have submitted their assets’ details included; Awami Party Pakistan, Pakistan Brohi Party, Tameer-i-Pakistan Party, Pakistan Muhammadi Party, JUI-F, AML, Tehreek-e-Tabdeeli Nizam Pakistan, Pakistan Bachao Party, Pakistan Social Justice Party, Pakistan Awami Tehreek-i-Inqilab, Muhajir Kashmir Movement, Tehreek-i-Istiqlal, PPP-Shaheed Bhutto and the PkMAP.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2013.