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November 21, 2020

No link with recent GB, upcoming AJK polls: ECP

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November 21, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has made it clear that Gilgit-Baltistan Election Commission and Jammu & Kashmir Election Commission (JKEC) are separate entities, which do not fall under its ambit.

In an informal chat, ECP Secretary Dr Akhtar Nazir said that both commissions were dealing with the GB and J&K election affairs separately and they function in their respective domains. The ECP does provide them assistance, except for the initial support for registration of voters who are residing in settled areas or any other technical guidance. The two elections commissions are independent in their functions and, especially for the conduct of polls, they are autonomous bodies, Dr Akhtar said.

He said the ECP was not linked with the recently held polls in GB and, likewise the upcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Separately, the ECP announced that the last date for submission of statements of assets/ liabilities by parliamentarians and members of the provincial assemblies for financial year 2019-20 had been fixed at Dec 31 and the deadline would not be extended. A large number of members had already submitted their statements, while more are pouring in. The commission reminded that the last date for submission of yearly statements of parliamentarians’ assets and liabilities, including those of their spouses and dependent children, is on or before Dec 31 each year. It said it is a mandatory requirement under Section 137 of the Elections Act, 2017, which says: “137. Submission of statement of assets and liabilities; (1) Every Member of an Assembly and Senate shall submit to the Commission, on or before 31st December each year, a copy of his statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children as on the preceding thirtieth day of June on Form B. (2) The Commission, on the first day of January each year through a press release, shall publish the names of Members who failed to submit the requisite statement of assets and liabilities within the period specified under sub-section (1). (3) The Commission shall, on the sixteenth day of January, by an order suspend the membership of a Member of an Assembly and Senate who fails to submit the statement of assets and liabilities by the fifteenth day of January and such Member shall cease to function till he files the statement of assets and liabilities. (4) Where a Member submits the statement of assets and liabilities under this section which is found to be false in material particulars, he may, within one hundred and twenty days from the date submission of the statement, be proceeded against for committing the offence of corrupt practice.”

The sources said that the prescribed form along with instructions/ guidelines prepared in this regard can be obtained free of cost from the ECP secretariat, Islamabad, offices of provincial Election Commissioners in each province, Senate Secretariat, National Assembly secretariat and secretariats of Provincial Assemblies. Moreover, form can also be downloaded from the ECP Website, the sources added.