Kh Asif moves SC against his disqualification
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Former foreign minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday challenged the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) verdict of disqualifying him for life in the Supreme Court.
The petitioner prayed the court to declare IHC’s verdict null and void and cancel the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) notification.
Earlier on April 26, Khawaja Asif was removed from his post by the IHC, 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.
The judgment against Asif, by the Islamabad High Court, follows last year’s disqualification of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, by the Supreme Court. In both cases, the judges found these lawmakers didn’t meet a constitutional provision that requires them to be “honest.” Both hadn’t declared employment ties to companies in the United Arab Emirates in filings with the election authorities when standing in past elections, the courts found.
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.