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Khawaja Asif disqualified as a member of parliament

27 April 2018, 12:03 | Myrtle Vega

Khwaja Asif was disqualified from parliament by the Islamabad High Court

Pak Foreign Minister Disqualified From Parliament Over UAE Work Permit

"(Khawaja Mohammed 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", stated the 35-page order sheet, a copy of which was obtained by Arab News.

The verdict is another blow to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), amid signs that it is undergoing an internal crisis.

Pakistani media say that it is not clear if Asif would have to step down from his post as foreign minister.

Asif vowed to challenge the ruling and said he had never concealed his foreign work permit, the Express Tribune reported.

"Asif has been hired as a full-time employee of IMECO since July 2, 2011 and served at various positions, including legal and special advisor", the PTI leader claimed in his petition. As per the law, Asif will be unable to hold public or party office for life.

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Petitioner Usman Dar of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), who lost elections to Asif in 2013, filed the petition previous year, seeking the disqualification of Asif for holding a UAE iqama (visa).

On Thursday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) disqualified Khawaja Asif under Article 62 (1) of the Constitution due to his failure in disclosing his employment at a UAE-based company and the monthly salary from it.

This, according to the petitioner, established that in spite of being a federal minister, Asif meant to surreptitiously and secretly continue with his full-time employment in the UAE in violation of his oath of office under the constitution.

The petitioner further pointed out that Asif's work permit was renewed on June 29, 2017, and is valid till June 28, 2019, which is a sheer violation of his oath taken as the member of the parliament.

According to the reports, a three-member bench of judges, including Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, announced the verdict which disqualified Asif for life from holding any public office. He has since been declared a proclaimed offender in the corruption case filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau.



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