Asif was disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution for holding an Iqama (work permit) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Pakistan’s Islamabad High Court on Thursday disqualified the country’s Foreign minister Khawaja Asif from holding office on the charges of dishonesty. As per a report by Express Tribune, Asif was disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution for holding an Iqama (work permit) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The court further observed that Asif was not even qualified to contest polls in 2013. Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supporters started chanting slogans of “Go Nawaz Go” outside the court as soon as the verdict was pronounced.
Further inputs awaited.
A three-member special bench of the Islamabad High Court announced the verdict on a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Usman Dar. On the other hand, Asif has announced to challenge the high court’s decision.
What is the case all about?
Usmar Dar, a PTI candidate who had contested elections against Asif in 2013, had filed a petition against Asif and accused him of hiding information in his election affidavit. Dar claimed that Asif hid the fact of holding an Iqama, or a foreign work permit, in his nomination papers. In his petition in the case, Dar nominated Asif, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the National Assembly secretary as respondents. In an another hearing, Dar had alleged that Asif had mentioned himself as a businessman in his nomination papers, whereas his Abu Dhabi Iqama proved that he was and still is an employee of a company.
The PTI leader had urged the court to disqualify Asif. He further stated that the Supreme Court has already disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last year for having an ‘Iqama’.
He claimed that Asif had Unlimited Term Employment Contract with International Mechanical and Electrical Co (IMECO) and was hired as full-time employee in July, 2011.
The petitioner claimed that Asif under the contract was to receive a monthly basic salary of AED 35,000. The minister also received a monthly allowance of AED 15,000, which he did not declare.
During the hearing, Asif had submitted a letter from the company that he was not full time employee and only worked as a consultant whose presence was not needed in the UAE, where the company is based.
The bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, had reserved the verdict on April 10.
Asif is one of top leaders of ruling Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz and his disqualification is considered a huge blow to the party, which has seen a similar fate to its top leader Nawaz Sharif.