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April 21, 2013

Delayed ECP response frustrates loan default objection

April 21, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The ECP delayed in replying to one of the respected entrepreneurs of Karachi, Nazim F Haji, regarding written off loans worth Rs438.43 million which barred the entrepreneur from challenging her candidacy.
Nazim F Haji is founder of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee in Karachi, a leading industrialist, a former chairman of many chambers and site associations of Karachi. On April 12, he wrote a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim regarding loan write offs and defaults of Mirza Sugar Mills co-owned by Fehmida Mirza and her spouse Zulfiqar Mirza and requested for appropriate action.
However, the reply of ECP was received by Nazim Haji on April 18, 2013, directing him to raise these objections before the election tribunal on 17th April i.e. the letter was one day late.
A few days back, while talking to The News, Fehmida Mirza claimed that she was not a majority shareholder in Mirza Sugar Mills.
She repeatedly insisted that neither she nor any other member of her family
ever took any loan from any bank.
While the entrepreneur from Karachi, in his letter to the CEC wrote that it has been highlighted by media and also have been verified from the State Bank of Pakistan’s report that a total amount of Rs552 million is overdue against the Mirza Sugar Mills.
The Mirzas owe this money to the Industrial Development Bank Limited and NIB Bank.
“In view of the above, Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza stands disqualified,” his letter said.
Nazim F Haji when contacted by The News said that he wrote the letter to the ECP with the hope that loan defaulters and those who got them written off would be barred from contesting the polls, but he has been disappointed by the attitude of the ECP.
He said that he provided the ECP with proofs yet no heed was paid to the contents of his letters.

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