Pak court disqualifies foreign minister

Khawaja Asif

Following the court orders, the foreign minister can not contest elections for life.

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".

The judgment further said, "The Registrar of this Court is directed to send certified copy of this judgment to the Election Commission for de-notifying the Respondent as Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan".

"Becoming prime minister for the third time was not less than an honour for me", Nawaz said, adding that disrespecting the Constitution of Pakistan should not continue anymore. "A copy is also directed to be sent to the Speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan for information".

The ruling by the Islamabad High Court was the latest in a series of court decisions that have gone against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party (PML-N).

The Islamabad court's ruling against Asif comes months ahead of expected general elections, which will pit the PML-N against its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) led by former cricket star Imran Khan.

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Reacting the court's order, Khwaja Asif, while talking to Geo's famous anchor Hamid Mir, said that he will challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court.

A three-member bench of the Islamabad High Court led by Justice Athar Minaullah disqualified the foreign minister under article 62-1F of the constitution - an article under which the three-time Prime Minister Nawaz sharif was ousted in July past year by the Supreme Court in the whistleblower Panama Papers scandal.

"Asif has been hired as a full-time employee of IMECO since July 2, 2011 and served at various positions, including legal and special advisor", the PTI leader claimed in his petition.

The foreign minister is a high-profile PML-N figure tipped as a possible replacement for Sharif.

The Pakistan Supreme Court disqualified PM Sharif from holding office for life in 2017.

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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