ISARELI PM FACES GRAFT CHARGES
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.