The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought a reply from Member of National Assembly (MNA) Captain Mohammad Safdar (Retd) by August 9, for concealing assets of his wife in his nomination papers.
A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner former Justice Retired Sardar Ahmed Raza Khan will hear the plea filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Nawabzada Salahuddin for disqualification of Captain Safdar (Retd).
In the petition, the counsel for PTI, Faisal Hussain Chaudhry, prayed that as Captain Safdar (Retd) did not mention his wife’s foreign immovable assets in his nomination papers the ECP’s bench should disqualify him as a member of the National Assembly.
Talking to Business Recorder, former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Kamran Murtaza said a Member of Parliament has to disclose the assets of his/her spouse which includes his wife and other dependents under the Representation of the People Act, 1976, section 42A.
He said if a parliamentarian fails to do so then a complaint may be filed before a District and Sessions Judge. He further said that there are two kinds of dependents in the law – one is a minor and the other is major (adult), adding, although Maryam Nawaz is Nawaz Sharif’s dependent but at the same time she is a major (adult).
In case of concealment of assets by her, no liability can be fixed upon Nawaz Sharif, he added. He maintained that Captain Safdar (Retd) and Maryam Nawaz are married but are not necessarily dependent under the law.
The Representation of the People Act, 1976, section 42A states, “Every member shall, on a form prescribed under clause (f) of sub-section (2) of Section 12, submit a Statements of Assets & Liabilities of his own, his spouse and dependents annually to the Commission by the thirtieth day of September each year”.
The statements of MNAs’ assets released by the ECP in April 2016 reveal that retired Captain Mohammad Safdar (Retd) listed only one property and 550 grams of jewellery in the name of his wife, the PM’s daughter, Maryam Safdar.
Property owned by Maryam Safdar, according to the ECP statement filed by Captain Safdar (Retd), is a 2006 BMW 4800CC car, which was gifted to her by someone in the United Arab Emirates, while her jewellery is worth Rs 1 million.
There is no mention of ownership of any foreign assets investments or bank accounts inside or outside the country by his wife. The net worth of the prime minister’s son-in-law is only Rs 5 million, aside from some 20 acres of land in Mansehra district and around 215 acres of barren land in Rajanpur, Punjab.