Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif Disqualified for Life by Islamabad High Court


Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif was disqualified by the Islamabad High Court earlier today under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution for failing to disclose his employment in a UAE company and the monthly salary he was receiving.

Asif could not be immediately reached for comment.

Politicians have shared their views on the landmark verdict that de-seated country's sitting Foreign Minister.

It further said that since Asif did not declare the salary from the firm in the nomination papers while contesting the 2013 elections, he was not eligible to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.

Asif will be unable to hold public or party office for life after the verdict. "Mark my word, people will vote even the shadow of Khawaja Asif" in next elections, Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former premier Sharif, wrote on her Twitter account. Soon after the session started, opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rashid took the point of order and started his tirade against the federal ministers of PML-N including Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Khawaja Asif demanding their immediate resignations.

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Khwaja Asif has been disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Pakistani constitution on a petition filed by Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Usman Dar who had unsuccessfully contested the 2013 parliamentary elections against Khwaja Asif from Sialkot.

It was not clear if Asif would have to step down from the post as Foreign Minister following the denotification from the Election Commission.

Asif rejected the allegations and said the petitioner had concealed from the court that the issue related to the work permit had been adjudicated by the Election Tribunal because he had already presented all required documents before the court. The court had earlier reserved its verdict on the petition on April 10. He also claims that he had declared Iqama in the nomination papers as well. Khawaja Asif on April 16 submitted a letter of an Abu Dhabi company where he is employed.

The judgment against Mr. Asif, by the Islamabad High Court, follows last year's disqualification of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, by the Supreme Court.