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February 12, 2020

PPP MPAs issued with notices on plea seeking probe into Shikarpur SSP’s claims


February 12, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the provincial advocate general and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MPAs Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh and Saeed Ghani on a petition seeking the constitution of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe into a senior police officer’s accusations that the ruling party’s lawmakers and provincial ministers harbour dacoits and other criminals in Shikarpur and Mehmoodabad. The plea also sought their disqualification as parliament members.

Petitioner Syed Iqbal Kazmi said Shikarpur SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed sent a report to the provincial police chief with regard to the alleged connection of MPA Sheikh and his family and employees with dacoits and other criminals, accusing them of harbouring criminals of the area who were involved in heinous crimes.

Kazmi claimed that the PPP MPA was using his criminal wings against his political opponents and to create fear. He said that during his posting in the Jamshed Town area, SSP Ahmed had also sent a report to his high-ups claiming that MPA Ghani and his brother Farhan Ghani had links with criminal elements and drug smugglers of the area.

The court was requested to constitute a JIT to investigate the allegations and disqualify them as parliament members. After the petition’s preliminary hearing, the SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar issued notices to MPAs, the SSP and others to file their comments on March 18.

Disqualification pleas

Two separate petitions were filed in the SHC seeking the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA and federal minister Faisal Vawda and PPP MPA Sharjeel Inam Memon for concealing their assets and properties before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Petitioner Qadir Khan Mandokhel said MPA Vawda, who was elected from the NA-249 constituency, had submitted a false declaration with regard to his assets and properties, US nationality and bank loans while filing the nomination papers before the returning officer in the general elections.

Mandokhel claimed that Vawda was still a US national and he had not surrendered his nationality, contending that the RO did not consider the objection he had filed against the MNA’s nomination papers.

He said the PTI candidate concealed financial assistance of approximately Rs40 million obtained from the Royal Bank of Scotland in the 2000s for the purpose of purchasing a 2,033 square yard bungalow in DHA Phase-V. He added that Vawda had failed to provide the money trail for the purchase of properties abroad.

The petitioner said the respondent had failed to provide the details of mortgage loans obtained from UK and Malaysian banks, concealed the description of moveable properties and had not provided documentary evidences.

He also claimed that despite having assets of more than Rs130 million, the PTI leader did not pay a single penny in taxes and concealed the facts from the Federal Board of Revenue.

He said that due to the concealment of certain facts from the ECP, Vawda does not fulfil the mandatory requirements of Article 62 of the constitution for becoming the eligible candidate of parliament and should be declared disqualified.

In another petition, Kazmi said that former information minister Memon had concealed his several properties and assets before the ECP at the time of filing his nomination papers.

He claimed that the PPP MPA had concealed several hundred acres, actual worth of gold and investment before the ECP, and his assets’ details were contrary to statements filed before the ECP from 2013 to 2017. He requested the court to disqualify Memon for concealing the facts about his properties and violating Article 62.