HYDERABAD: Political opponents of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and voters have filed objections to the candidacies of its co-chairperson Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. An objection has also been filed against former Sindh chief minister and PPP leader Syed Murad Ali Shah.
Muhammad Saleem Bhangwar and Ghulam Raza Dharejo, two voters of Nawabshah from where Zardari has filed nomination papers for the NA-213 constituency, alleged that Zardari had defaulted on payment of agricultural and irrigation taxes. They maintained that his family owned around 1,500 acres of agricultural land in Sinjhoro taluka, Sanghar district, but they had not paid the taxes.
Former law ministers advocate Farooq H Naek and Ziaul Hassan Lanjar appeared before the returning officer on behalf of Zardari and collected copies of the objections. The RO fixed the hearing for June 19 after the lawyers assured that their client has paid the taxes and that the receipts will be submitted before the RO.
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In PS 10 Larkana, where Talpur has filed her nomination, an independent candidate advocate Qadir Bux Bhatti contended that Talpur holds an Iqama of Dubai and that she also heads an offshore company. He further alleged that she has purchased properties in Dubai in the name one of her maid and that she has power of attorney of those properties. The lawyer said Talpur has not mentioned these facts in her nomination papers and, therefore, she does not meet the criteria of Articles 62 and 63.
The RO had earlier fixed the hearing of the objection for Thursday. But it has been deferred to June 19 because the required documents from the State Bank, Federal Board of Revenue and National Accountability Bureau could not be received.
The candidacy of former Sindh CM, who is running from his home constituency based in Sehwan, has also been challenged. Sindh United Party's leader Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, who is also contending from the same PS-80 constituency, alleged that Shah holds dual nationality of Canada. He further alleged that Shah owned thousands of acres of agricultural land but he has mentioned only 51 acres.
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Shah's lawyers Luqman Ahmed Farooqi and K B Laghari pleaded the RO to reject the former CM's nomination. However, Shah's counsel Advocate Naek told the court that his client gave up his Canadian nationality after the 2013 elections and later won the Sehwan-based seat in a by-election.
In counter allegations, Naek claimed that Jalal Shah had defaulted on payment of tax on his vehicle. Advocate Laghari, however, informed the RO that the vehicle in question was sold in 2012. On Thursday, RO Ilamuddin Janwri restored nomination forms of both Murad Shah and Jalal Shah while rejecting their objections.
The form of former national assembly's speaker and wife of PPP's dissident Zulfiqar Mirza, Dr Fehmida Mirza, has also not been restored due to objections. Haji Rasool Bux Chandio, PPP's candidate for NA-230 constituency in Badin, alleged that Dr Fehmida got written off Rs370 million bank loan and that she still has to repay Rs320 million loan.
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The couple and their two sons, Hasnain Mirza and Hassam Mirza, have filed nominations for two NA and three PS constituencies of Badin. They will contest the polls as candidates of Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi-led Grand Democratic Alliance.
The forms of Zulfiqar, Hasnain and Hassam have also not been passed in the process of scrutiny because Syed Ali Bux Shah of PPP, who is contesting from PS 72 in Badin, has filed objections. The ROs will hear the objections on June 19.