Pakistan court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif as PML-N chief

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Pakistan's apex court has disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

"An individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 cannot serve as party head," a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar said in a short order.

Reasons for the ruling will be released later, the bench said in its ruling delivered on Wednesday after disposing the petitions challenging the controversial Elections Act 2017.

The act was passed last year by the Parliament where the party of Nawaz Sharif has majority.

The bill was demolished to make Sharif as party head following his disqualification as Prime Minister on July 28, 2017 for not being truthful in his tax returns.

Pakistani news agencies said, there was no reaction from ruling PML(N). However Mr. Sharif has recently blasted the Supreme Court for disqualifying him as Prime Minister.

Articles 62 and 63 refers to the qualification of a public representative and make him to pledge for being truthful in his conduct.

Incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on February 19 told a Parliament that institutions need to work within their limits in a veiled reference to the apex court.

Mr. Sharif and his daughter Maryam had been criticising the judiciary in recent weeks claiming that Mr. Sharif was disqualified through a conspiracy.

Mr. Sharif was disqualified after the Panama Papers came into light in 2016 following which the opposition party of Imran Khan went to the Supreme Court to seek Mr. Sharif's disqualification.

But the court disqualified him for not declaring a UAE permit (Iqama) through which he was shown as a chairman of a company that his son established in Dubai.

Mr. Sharif denied receiving any payments through the company.