Pakistan court disqualifies Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif

Casey Dawson
April 27, 2018

Earlier on Thursday, the foreign minister was declared ineligible for parliamentary politics following Islamabad High Court's (IHC) verdict.

The PTI leader had urged the court to disqualify Asif, stating that the Supreme Court has already disqualified Sharif past year for having an "Iqama" of working in the company of his sons and not declaring his "receivable salary".

PTI leader and petitioner Usman Dar (in black) is seen at the court.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Athar Minallah announced the verdict and ruled that Asif is not "honest" and "truthful" as per the Constitution.

Male legislators of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) remained silent while female legislators strongly reacted over the criticism of the opposition. Despite being the federal minister Asif "intends to surreptitiously and secretly continue with his full-time employment with IMECL in violation of his oath of office under the Constitution", quoted from the petition.

"The policies of Ziaul Haq have not spared anyone, including his own children", the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader said while speaking to the media outside the National Assembly.

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Usman Dar filed this petition seeking disqualification of Asif for concealing the facts that he was an Iqama holder, legal advisor of a company in UAE and his recent labour card was issued on June 29, 2017.

Asif told Geo TV he would challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.

It was not clear if Asif would have to step down from the post as Foreign Minister following the denotification from the Election Commission.

During the hearing, Asif had submitted a letter from the company that he was not full time employee and only worked as a consultant whose presence was not needed in the UAE, where the company is based.

Likewise, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was disqualified on Dec 15 previous year by a separate bench of the apex court under the same provision.

Leading up to the verdict, Sharif's counsel - Khawaja Harris - had conceded before the court that Hassan Nawaz, the prime minister's younger son, was the owner of Capital FZE and Sharif its chairman.

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