Nawaz Sharif, former Pakistan PM, disqualified from politics for life

In this June 15, 2017 file photo, deposed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to reporters outside the premises of the Joint Investigation Team, in Islamabad, Pakistan.   | Photo Credit: AP

In a unanimous decision, Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday banned former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from participating in elections for life, declaring that any person proved to be “dishonest or not righteous” is barred from politics for life or holding any public office.

Mr. Sharif was disqualified in July after a probe ordered by the Supreme Court on Panama Papers found him guilty of not disclosing money from his son Hussain Nawaz’s company in Dubai. Mr. Sharif denied receiving any money from his son and termed the apex court’s decision a conspiracy to unseat him.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed before the ruling that the public deserves leaders of good character.

‘It is permanent’

In the verdict, Justice Umar Ata Bandial wrote that the disqualification of any member of Parliament or a public servant under Article 62 (1) (f) would be permanent.

“Such a person cannot contest elections or become a member of Parliament,” the court said. Article 62(1)(f) sets the precondition for a member of Parliament to be honest and righteous.

The ruling effectively ended any hope for the return of the three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had to resign after being declared dishonest by the Supreme Court in July last year.

Sharif’s party rejects ruling

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the ruling party, on Friday said it rejected the Supreme Court’s decision.

“Our party rejects this ruling. This is political victimisation. It will be remembered as one of the most controversial rulings by the Supreme Court,” said Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb .

“It is not the job of the court to declare any politician righteous or not. This is the job of Parliament or the Election Commission,” she told reporters in Islamabad after the ruling.

‘In Friday’s ruling, the Supreme Court said any person proved to be “dishonest or not righteous” is barred from politics for life

The Supreme Court ruling will also effect a senior Opposition member Jahangir Tareen who belongs to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the party of former cricket captain Imran Khan. Mr. Tareen was disqualified late last year for not declaring some assets in the U.K. to the tax authorities.

Mr. Sharif is currently facing dozens of cases in the accountability court. He faces up to 21 years in jail if charges are proven. The decision in these cases are expected later this month or early next month.

General elections are expected in the last week of July this year. Mr. Sharif has already nominated his brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif as the new party chief.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 10:40:38 AM |

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