ECP Suspends Parliamentarians
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has suspended the membership of 154 parliamentarians and members of provincial assemblies, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik and a few more powerful law makers, for failing to submit details of their assets by the due date. These parliamentarians have been debarred from attending any sessions of the assemblies or doing any legislation work. Since their membership of the Senate and the National and Provincial Assemblies stands suspended, naturally their holding of any cabinet positions would also be automatically affected. However, though more than three days have passed to this order yet, some of the ministers are working as usual and passing orders totally oblivious of the ban upon them and ignoring it altogether. Is it a case of flouting the authority of the ECP as there have been the case with some of the orders of the judiciary in the country?
The CEC would have to assert himself more effectively if the authority of the ECP is to be recognized and respected by the politicians, especially the ruling elite. This was probably the first order and the first test case from him and he must nip the evil in the bud. He has a long way to go and the nation expects him to deliver in the coming general elections his oft repeated and promised One Point agenda – Free and Fair Elections.
Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)