Pak HC removes FM for breaking election law | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 27, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:24 AM, April 27, 2018

Pak HC removes FM for breaking election law

The move deals blow to ruling party ahead of polls

A Pakistani court disqualified Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif from parliament yesterday, striking another blow to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party ahead of a general election due in a few months.

The Islamabad High Court verdict against Asif is one of several judicial setbacks for the PML-N since the Supreme Court removed party founder Nawaz Sharif as prime minister in July.

Asif told Geo TV he would challenge the decision in the Supreme Court. It was not clear if he would have to relinquish control of the foreign ministry, since he could remain in charge as an adviser to the prime minister.

Asif, a close ally of Sharif, is one of the most high-profile PML-N figures in government and was among names tipped to replace Sharif when the three-time prime minister was disqualified by the Supreme Court over some undeclared income.

Sharif and other top PML-N officials have complained that the judiciary is targeting the party ahead of the general election, which is expected in July.

Usman Dar, a rival politician from Asif's constituency in the town of Sialkot, near the Indian border, filed a petition against Asif to have him disqualified over the possession of an "iqama", a work permit for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The court ruled Asif did not fully disclose his status as an employee of a UAE company and therefore was "not qualified" to be in parliament.

The court removed him using Article 62 of the constitution, which stipulates parliamentarians must be "honest and righteous" and which was also used to oust Sharif.

"We have handed down this judgment with a heavy heart," the Islamabad High Court said in its verdict.

"Not only because a seasoned and accomplished political figure stands disqualified but more so because the dreams and aspirations of 342,125 registered voters have suffered a setback," the court added, referring to Sialkot voters.

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone and Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News

Top