Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pakistan Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from Public office

Pakistan Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from Public office

In a landmark verdict, Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday disqualified deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life. 67-year-old Sharif tendered his resignation in July after the apex court disqualified him from holding office over an undeclared source of income.

According to The Dawn, it is the same article under which Sharif was disqualified from the post of Prime Minister over the Panama Papers leak case in July a year ago by the Pakistani top court. Supreme Court Justice Umar Ata Bandial has described the decision of the jury against Nawaz's disqualification as being permanent, so he can't challenge it in anyway, and will just have to accept it. "Such a person can not contest elections or become a member of Parliament", the verdict read.

The three-time prime minister and three of his children continue to face trial for corruption charges in a National Accountability Bureau court, which is due to deliver a verdict in the coming weeks. The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of Sharif rejected the verdict and said the former Prime Minister was "punished for eliminating terrorism and carrying out development projects".

"The lifetime disqualification will damage the party in elections besides putting deeper cracks into the party ranks", said Mazhar Abbas, a Karachi-based political analyst.

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A member of Sharif's ruling party, Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb, angrily dismissed the ruling as a "joke". The allegations, which he denies, followed disclosures in the Panama Papers leaks in 2016.

The decision was immediately panned by the PML-N.

The Supreme Court ruling will also effect a senior opposition member Jehangir Tareen who belongs to PTI, the party of former cricket captain Imran Khan.

At the last hearing, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf had told the bench that it was not the function of courts to say that the disqualification under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution was for life or to give any timeline.

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