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Will Faryal Talpur be disqualified?

Faryal Talpur allegedly concealed her properties in the nominations filed for the 2018 general elections which means she is no longer ‘Sadiq and Ameen’. Will she be disqualified?

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Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has re-fixed a petition for the disqualification of the PPP woman wing leader and Sindh MPA Faryal Talpur for July 21. The sister of PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari is blamed for concealing her properties in the nominations filed for the 2018 general elections in a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Sindh Assembly lawmakers Arsalan Taj and Rabia Azfar.

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They stated the PPP leader should be disqualified under Article 62 of the Constitution as she failed to declare details of her assets before the ECP, which means she is no longer ‘Sadiq and Ameen’.

A five-member bench of the ECP headed by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja will hear the petition. The ECP has served notices to both the parties for a hearing on July 21.

Last year in December, the Election Commission of Pakistan had adjourned the hearing of the petition after the petitioners’ counsel sought time to file a response.

Read More: PTI petitions ECP for Faryal Talpur’s disqualification

Talpur owned properties in Larkana and Shahdadkot, the petitioner stated. They added Talpur has been nominated in a case pertaining to billions of rupees corruption through fake bank accounts and pleaded that she be disqualified as a member of the Sindh Assembly.

Nawaz disqualified for not being Sadiq and Amin

In 2017, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for not being Sadiq and Amin. The judges ruled that Nawaz had been dishonest to the parliament and the courts in not disclosing his employment in the Dubai-based Capital FZE company in his 2013 nomination papers, and thus, could not be deemed fit for his office.

“It is hereby declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE in his nomination papers filed for the General Elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation respondent No. 1 Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and therefore he is disqualified to be a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”

Read More: NAB detains Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur

It is to be seen whether the ECP follows the same line as set by the apex court or new facts are found to draw another conclusion in the present case.

Talpur gets bail in money laundering case

In 2019, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted bail to PPP leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq announced the judgment after hearing arguments from both sides at large.

During the course of proceeding, the bench asked the Additional Prosecutor General (APG) National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Jahanzeb Bharwana that if the bureau had concluded its investigation from the accused. Bharwana answered in affirmation.

Talpur’s bank accounts frozen

The NAB had written a letter to the State Bank of Pakistan after her name surfaced in the fake accounts case. The SBP had directed the scheduled banks to freeze her accounts. Subsequently, three accounts — one in her name and two in the name of her daughters — were frozen.

According to the prosecution, the banks were asked to freeze Talpur’s accounts in the fake bank accounts case involving alleged money laundering of billions of rupees through 29 accounts.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had named former president Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, his sons and 10 others as suspects in an interim challan filed in a banking court in August 2018.

PPP leadership blames the incumbent for politically victimizing them. The government, on the other hand, tends to seek a plausible explanation for an unprecedented increase in the wealth of Zardaris or any convincing justification for assets beyond known means. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Wednesday that the government was using the NAB for political victimization. He said that “NAB’s black law” would be eliminated soon with the power of the people.

Read More: Court extends interim bail of Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur in money laundering case

Experts are of the view that due to the NAB’s inefficiency the cases against bigwigs are not adequately filed before the accountability courts which ultimately lead to an acquittal. The NAB, as Dr. Moeed Pirzada argues, should work on references before filing it before any court of law.

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