KARACHI: A Pandora box is likely to open and to create extreme embarrassment and discomfiture for Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari soon they would file their nomination papers to the Elections Commission of Pakistan – or ECP.
Not only they both would face serious legal and political repercussions they haven’t faced as yet despite the fact Asif Ali Zardari had been President of the country with same aspect that are now emerging with full speed.
ECP former federal secretary and national democratic foundation – or NDF Chairman Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad said.
He pointed that Asif Ali Zardari is Chairman of PPP Parliamentarian and Co-Chairman of PPP while Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is Chairman of PPP and Co-Chairman of PPP Parliamentarian. This is in violation of clause 5 of Political Parties Order-2002, which clearly prohibits one to use name, colour or platform of other party while Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari are using both parties.
According to this situation, if allowed, the ECP would issue different electoral symbols and they would contest elections in opposition to each other. Arrow could be the electoral symbol of Zardari while Bilawal would get a different electoral symbol from the ECP, he added.
In case, Bilawal wins the by-elections and subsequent to that victory becomes member of national assembly, he would be a lonely MNA from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) because the numbers of MNAs and Senators are from Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP). Bilawal with one seat in national assembly (NA) would be dependent on his father for becoming leader of opposition in NA, said Dilshad.
The former federal secretary and NDF Chairman Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad also said that at the time of filing his nomination papers, Zardari would be legally bound to declare his assets and wealth, bank accounts, moveable and immoveable property, Surrey Palace, $60 million in Swiss Banks here within the country and abroad as would be required under clause 12 of Public Representation Act-1976.
He would also be legally bound to annex his academic testimonials and degrees and despite that the he had with the help of Justice (Retd) Abdul Hameed Dogar removed the condition of bachelor Degree, he would still be legally bound to fill the column in nomination paper that pertains to academic qualification. In the columns of assets, Zardari would also be legally bound to declare Bilawal Houses in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Sugar Mills and list of Palaces in France. Bilawal would face similar legal bondages on filing his nomination papers, added the former secretary Dilshad.
He said that the use of two parties is punishable under the constitution and not only these two but all the party Parliamentarians, who supports them might also get punished by declaration of ineligibility.
“Zardari and Bilawal would have no other option except to let go the Chairmanship and Co-Chairmanship of one party and stay in one party.” “Zardari and Bilawal would be compelled to declare all their wealth and property in country and abroad. This particular situation would also lead to reopening of all previous reference once again.”
While referring to a constitutional petition (CP) filed by a Pakistani–American citizen in the Lahore High Court, the former federal secretary Kanwar Dilshad said that it is worth mentioning here that Lahore High Court has consented to hear that petition on this matter and since the contents and inserts in that CP are very valid, the petition might prove devastating to Zardaris.
If so, those Parliamentarians, who facilitated Zardari, would also be facing the legal repercussions, opined the former federal secretary.
As a matter of Fact, both Zardaris have tied them to a bomb of electoral rules, commented Dilshad.
He was at the other of the view that in case, Zardari wins the by-elections, he would take the seat of leader of opposition and thus he would be in a position to bargain over the selection of interim set-up for the conduction of general elections-2018. Having become the leader of opposition, PPPP might get strength in Punjab through newly appointed provincial leaders such as Aetizaz Ahsan, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nadeem Afzal Chan, Shaukat Basra, Sardar Lateef Khosa and others.
He urged upon the NA members should peruse the report on electoral reforms presented by federal finance minister Ishaq Dar for the greater sake of the state of Pakistan as the recommendations laid in that report do not suggest for any measure for removing confusion and establishing fairness and transparency.