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ECP to discuss scrutiny with State Bank, FBR, NAB

20 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: As the parliamentarians from across the political divide are getting united to limit the process of pre-election scrutiny, the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) is still hopeful that it will be able to deter corrupt and criminal elements from contesting the elections.

In this connection, a high level meeting has been convened by the commission on Wednesday to streamline the pre-election scrutiny of candidates with the help of other key state institutions.

The meeting, to be chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, will be attended by Governor State Bank Yaseen Anwar, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Ali Arshad Hakeem and a representative of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

According to an ECP official, the meeting will finalise the ECP's strategy to complete the process of scrutiny within the stipulated time with the help of NAB, FBR and State Bank of Pakistan.

"The NAB will be providing the list of politicians who have cases pending with the Bureau. It will also investigate the background of potential candidates once they file the nomination papers with the ECP," he said.

The FBR and State Bank will provide the ECP with access to data regarding loan defaulters and tax-evaders. However, the official was of the view that the 14-day scrutiny period approved by a special committee of parliament may not be enough to thoroughly check all the relevant details about the candidates.

The committee, comprising members from both the opposition and government, has already rejected the ECP's proposal to extend the scrutiny period for nomination papers of candidates to 30 days.


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