ISARELI PM FACES GRAFT CHARGES

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE -

ISALAMABAD: Pak­istan’s Supreme Court on Wed­nes­day re­served its judg­ment in a case re­lated to the du­ra­tion of the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of for­mer premier Nawaz Sharif even as the anti-graft watch­dog asked the gov­ern­ment to bar the PML-N chief, his daugh­ter and son-in-law from leaving the coun­try.

Sharif had con­tended in the Supreme Court ear­lier this month that his dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion un­der con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions “is con­fined only to the elec­tion in ques­tion, and is not per­pet­ual”.

The three-time premier was forced to re­sign last July after the apex court dis­qual­i­fied him for dis­hon­esty while hear­ing a case re­lated to al­le­ga­tions in the Panama Pa­pers leaks. Some ex­perts have said the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion is life­long while others have said that Sharif can­not be per­pet­u­ally barred from con­test­ing elec­tions.

The Supreme Court’s rul­ing will be cru­cial as Sharif wants to lead his PML-N party’s cam­paign for the gen­eral elec­tion to be held later this year and run for a fourth term. The five-judge bench heard mul­ti­ple lawyers dur­ing the hear­ings. At­tor­ney gen­eral Ashtar Ausaf Ali said no du­ra­tion for the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion is given in the Con­sti­tu­tion, and that it is Par­lia­ment which can de­ter­mine the du­ra­tion.

“Till such time the Par­lia­ment makes such pro­vi­sions (on time limit), the dec­la­ra­tion shall con­tinue,” Ali said in a writ­ten state­ment.

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