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Pakistan Supreme Court overturns Khawaja Asif’s lifetime disqualification by Islamabad HC

A three-member bench gave the ruling in response to an appeal filed by Asif following his disqualification on a petition by a leader of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

world Updated: Jun 01, 2018 23:32 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Khawaja Asif,Pakistan,Supreme Court
Khawaja Muhammad Asif speaks during a joint press conference.(AFP File Photo)

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday overturned an Islamabad high court verdict disqualifying formerforeignminister Khawaja Asif from holding public office for life.

A three-member bench gave the ruling in response to an appeal filed by Asif following his disqualificationon a petition by a leader of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

Following this ruling, Asif, a senior leader of the PML-N and a close aide of former premier Nawaz Sharif, will be able to contest the general election to be held on July 25.

On April 26, the high court had disqualified Asif under a constitutional provision for failing to disclose his employment by a UAE firm in his nomination papers for the last election in 2013. The high court had observed that this employment and the salary ought to have been declared in the nomination papers.

Asif’s lawyer argued in the Supreme Court that his client had revealed all the required details in his nomination papers. Asif also contended he had declared AED 50,000 as foreign income in the papers.

The former minister said he had inadvertently failed to disclose in his nomination papers a bank account that represented less than 0.5% of his total assets. He added that the account had been dormant when it was disclosed in an annual statement of assets filed with the Election Commission and therefore the omission in the nomination papers could not be treated as wilful and dishonest concealment.

First Published: Jun 01, 2018 23:32 IST