LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate for the NA-120 by-election, Faisal Mir, has moved the Election Tribunal of the Lahore High Court and challenged his rival Kulsoom Nawaz’s nomination. He submitted that the PML-N hopeful had discrepancies in the declarations submitted in her nomination papers.
Speaking at a news conference here at Lahore Press Club, Mir underscored that NA-120’s returning officer (RO) did not use judicial wisdom, as per the law, while accepting the nomination papers of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s spouse.
He pointed out that the PPP had provided copies of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) in the Panama case, along with a heap of other evidence. “However, the RO ignored all evidence and took just five minutes to accept the nomination papers.”
Kulsoom Nawaz had mentioned in her nomination papers that neither she nor her husband had any company in Pakistan or abroad. On the other hand, the Panama case heard by the apex court unveiled over 15 companies, including Capital FZE in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In that particular entity, Kulsoom was deputy chairperson along with her husband Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Though it was sufficient to disqualify the PML-N candidate over these allegations, the RO ignored the top court’s order, he maintained.
He highlighted that on one hand, Nawaz had mentioned Chaudhry Sugar Mills’ postal address in her nomination papers, but on the other hand claimed she was a housewife with no business. “It is very interesting that the ‘queen’ has declared that she has only has Rs100,000 worth of jewellery. She indicated in her nomination papers that Sharif and her spouse own Rs20 million in assets, while her sons had properties worth billion of rupees across the world,” he pointed out.
Mir underlined the PML-N candidate had also gotten tax exemptions on agriculture from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and did not pay the same to the provincial government, which is a sheer violation ECP rules and a misdeclaration. “As per the ECP law, she is ineligible to contest elections.
He further said Nawaz concealed the truth about her financial resources. The PPP leader objected she had an Iqama (residence permit) from the FZE Company in the UAE and used to withdraw a salary from it. However, this was not mentioned in the nomination papers, he continued.
He also said that PML-N was registered in the name of deposed Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif; therefore, she could not contest election on the ticket of the party.
At the time the papers were accepted, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Asif Kirmani told the media that “all nine objections raised by rival candidates against Begum Nawaz.”
He said opponents were given ample time to present their arguments and explain their objections. “Their objections are entirely based on hearsay with no corroborative evidence to back it.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2017.