Pak SC bars Sharif from contesting polls for life

NAB alleges the road was constructed in connivance with Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif for his personal benefit in 1998

Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been barred from ever holding public office by a supreme court ruling that has jolted the political landscape before elections this summer.

"Article 62 (1)(f), which sets the precondition for a member of parliament to be "sadiq and ameen" (honest and righteous), is the same provision under which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by a five-judge SC bench on July 28, 2017, in the Panama Papers case".

A lawmaker from Sharif's party filed a complaint late past year alleging opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leader Imran Khan and secretary general Jahangir Tareen owned offshore companies and had not disclosed their assets.

Sharif had been disqualified by the top court in July a year ago over the Panama Papers scandal.

Sharif resigned in July after the high court disqualified him from office over corruption issues.

On the occasion, the former lawmaker mixed up with the public amid a boisterous environment with slogans in his favour, however, the elder Sharif informed the audience that they should wait for his call. In 2009 and 2010, when the then ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) proposed removal of Article 62, Nawaz Sharif had opposed it, believing the move would upset the powerful military establishment.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) hailed the ruling against Sharif.

PaK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan has made a decision to induct eight more ministers in the cabinet, taking the total strength of the members of his council of ministers to 20, said sources. "Nawaz Sharif has been caught in his own trap as he himself had supported Article 62", Khurshed Shah, leader of the Opposition in National Assembly, told media after the Supreme Court decision.

In Friday's verdict, 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.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was elected by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to take Sharif's place.

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