Senate election: PML-N leader Pervaiz Rasheed's nomination papers rejected

Pervaiz Rasheed has been accused by the Punjab government of defaulting on payments in the millions to the Punjab House

Amin Hafeez

  • ECP rejects Pervaiz Rasheed's nomination papers on charges that he has defaulted on payments in the millions to the Punjab House
  • PML-N leader denies allegations, says will appeal against the decision
  • Rasheed accuses PM Imran Khan of not tolerating criticism

ISLAMABAD: The nomination papers of PML-N leader Pervaiz Rasheed have been rejected by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday on allegations that he had defaulted on payments that were to be made to the Punjab House. 

The Punjab government had released a list of people in 2018 who had not cleared their bills for staying and taking meals at the Punjab House. Rasheed was among those who were named in the list. 

PTI MPA Zainab Omar had filed an objection against Rasheed through her lawyer Rana Mudassar to the returning officer/provincial election commissioner in Lahore.

"Imran Khan can't tolerate criticism," said Rasheed, reacting to the development as he spoke to media. "I criticise [the government] hence efforts are being made to keep me out of the parliament."

Rasheed accused the government of preparing a fake 'demand' against him. "To dispose of this fake demand, I am ready to make the payment," said the senior PML-N leader. 

"You can close the doors on me, but you can't stop my voice," he said, addressing the government. "I will appeal against the decision to reject my nomination papers."

The PML-N leader said that he wanted to pay the dues to the Punjab House but its management was not accepting it. 

Rasheed alleged that fake cases against PML-N leaders were being made, accusing the government of keeping political opponents "away from the field". 

"I did not keep silent then and I will not be silent now," he said. "People such as me are like a thorn in their [government's] side," he added. 

Defaulters' list

According to the list, Rasheed and several PML-N leaders, government officials and their relatives owed a total amount exceeding Rs60 million.

As per the list, Rasheed owed a sum of Rs7.05 million of which Rs0.69 million was owed for his stay in 2011 from January to August and Rs6.4 million for his stay between June 2013 and May 2018. The list also mentioned the name of his daughter, Poonam Rasheed, also a Senator, who owed Rs2.7 million.

The list contained the names of former attorney general Ashtar Ausaf who had to pay Rs0.6 million, Khurram Rashid Rs2.2 million and Malik Zulfiqar who was allegedly a defaulter of Rs0.287 million.

Moazzam Ali was to pay Rs2.9 million, Mujahid Sherdil Rs1.287 million, Mustafa Ramday Rs3.952 million and Nabeel Awan Rs2.597 million, according to the list.

Former minister Anushay Rehman and Zubair Gul were also said to be defaulters of payments amounting in the millions.