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Islamabad High Court Disqualifies Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif From Parliament

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| April 26 , 2018 , 16:44 IST

In yet another blow for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Islamabad High Court on Thursday disqualified Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif for holding a work permit (Iqama) of the United Arab Emirates.

Khwaja Asif has been disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Pakistani constitution on a petition filed by Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Usman Dar who had unsuccessfully contested the 2013 parliamentary elections against Khwaja Asif from Sialkot.

This comes just two months after the Supreme Court of Pakistan barred Nawaz Sharif from holding any position in his party after he was disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution.

Also Read: Pakistan SC Disqualifies Former PM Nawaz Sharif From Holding Public Office For Life

Usman Dar had petitioned the court that Asif was not entitled to hold the office since he had an Unlimited Term Employment Contract with IMECO, Abu Dhabi.

Announcing the verdict, a three-member bench of the Islamabad High Court ruled that Khwaja Asif was not even qualified to contest the 2013 elections. The bench also asked the registrar to expedite a copy of the judgement to the Election Commission and the Speaker of the National Assembly to denotify Khwaja Asif as MP.

"We declare that the Respondent [Asif] was not qualified to contest the General Election of 2013 from NA-110 as he did not fulfill the conditions described under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, read with section 99(1)(f) of the Act of 1976," reads the judgment.

The bench had on April 10 reserved its judgement in the case, asking all the parties to submit written arguments. Delivering the judgement the bench said, “We have handed down this judgment with a heavy heart not only because a seasoned and accomplished political figure stands disqualified but more so because the dreams and aspirations of 342,125 registered voters have suffered a setback."

After the verdict, Dar tweeted, “I thank Almighty Allah for this victory. With the support of my leader Imran Khan, seniors, PTI workers, social media activists and lawyers, I have overcome this challenge and brought this fraudster under the long arms of Law. Alhumdulillah.”

Meanwhile, speaking to a news channel Khwaja Asif said he would challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court.