Pakistani Ex-Prime Minister Sharif Gets Lifetime Politics Ban

14 April, 2018, 10:26 | Author: Sheila Harris

In a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday ruled that any person declared dishonest and not righteous by it is disqualified from politics or holding public office for life. A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was formed past year to probe the allegations on the Sharif family. This ruling directly affects former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The military denies any such intervention.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed from the PML-N asked the court not to experiment with the system in the upcoming elections, which would be bitterly contested.

The court says that under the country's constitution, no person once disqualified from office by the top court — as Sharif was — can hold public office again.

"It's a significant decision because it will. also have implications for the future", senior lawyer and former president of Pakistan Wasim Sajjad told Reuters.

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Mr Sharif, 67, who has been elected and removed as prime minister three times since 1990, now faces criminal proceedings over allegations that he and his family bought foreign properties illegally.

A lawmaker from Sharif's party filed a complaint late previous year alleging opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leader Imran Khan and secretary general Jahangir Tareen owned offshore companies and had not disclosed their assets. In 2009 and 2010, when the then ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) proposed removal of Article 62, Nawaz Sharif had opposed it, believing the move would upset the powerful military establishment. Reacting to the ruling, State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb dismissed it as a "joke" that many former premiers also faced."This joke has already been played on previous premiers and all 17 prime ministers of Pakistan have faced a similar fate", she said.

Despite the numerous court rulings against the PML-N, the party has won a string of recent by-elections proving it will likely remain a force in the next polls.

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