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Pakistan SC bars Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life

15 April 2018, 07:43 | Erica Roy

Pakistan SC bars Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life

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Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen have been disqualified from holding any public office for life by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed before the ruling that the public deserves leaders of good character.

The apex court said that under the country's Constitution, no person once disqualified from office by the top court can hold public office again.

The court had grappled with Article 62 (1)(f) which only stated that a lawmaker is disqualified under specified conditions but did not set out the duration of the disqualification. 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". Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court previous year for concealing in his nomination papers the receivable income from his son's company in the UAE. "Such a person can not contest elections or become a member of Parliament", the verdict read.

The historic ruling ended 68-year-old Sharif's hopes for a political future. The Constitution of Pakistan itself does not specify how long the period of time a person could be disqualified for it the court finds them unfit for the position.

After the announcement of the verdict, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb said that no corruption allegation has been proven against Sharif till date. "The trial has been going on in NAB court and the disqualification verdict is already out", she said.

The three-time prime minister concluded his conversation by saying that such type of verdicts fails to deprive masses of their elected leadership.

"Pakistan's institutions are respectable for us", she added.

Sharif's PML-N, which continues to hold a strong majority in parliament, termed the decision an attack on democracy.

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