April 20, 2018

Pakistan's supreme court bars ex PM Shariff from holding office for life

15 April 2018, 07:40 | Opal Carroll

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Pakistani Ex-Prime Minister Sharif Gets Lifetime Politics Ban

Pakistan's Supreme Court has disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, dismissed from his post over corruption allegations a year ago, from holding public office for life.

On July 28, 2017, Pakistan Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif after he was found guilty in the Panama Papers case. A bunch of appeals and petitions had challenged the length of disqualification under the article. Such a person can not contest elections or become a member of parliament.

The apex court's ruling that ended the political future of the three-time premier ahead of general elections in June came during the hearing on a case related to the determination of time duration for disqualification of a lawmaker under the Constitution. The five judges, in an unanimous ruling, said those who were not "honest" and "truthful" under the country's constitution were "banned from parliament for life".

The Panama Papers released by Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in April a year ago highlighted the involvement of various business ans political personalities, among them 11 current and former national leaders, claiming they worked with the firm Mossack Fonseca to establish shadow companies for global transactions and money laundering.

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A member of Sharif's ruling party, Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb, angrily dismissed the ruling as a "joke".

Following the verdict, both Sharif and Tareen have become ineligible to ever hold public office. They deny any wrong doing and Sharif has painted himself as a victim of rival politics. Such decisions imply that I am a target of the top court, ' he affirmed.

Sharif was the 15th prime minister in Pakistan's 70-year history-roughly half of it under military rule-to be removed before completing a full term. PPP leader Khursheed Shah said his party had repeatedly told Sharif to let Parliament decide the fate of politicians, "but he did not listen and went to the Supreme Court".

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