Government & Politics

PAKISTANI COURT DISQUALIFIES FOREIGN MINISTER FOR HIDING ASSETS

ISLAMABAD, The Islamabad High Court on Thursday disqualified the country's Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif for holding a work permit in the United Arab Emirates and hiding his income, local media reported.

According to the reports, a three-member bench of judges, including Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, announced the verdict which disqualified Asif for life from holding any public office.

The court said that Asif had been proven dishonest under the country's constitution because he did not fulfill constitutional requirements for a public office holder to disclose his all assets and sources of income.

The bench had reserved the verdict on April 10 on a petition filed by Usman Dar, a member of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, or Pakistan Justice Movement in English. Dar, who lost elections to Asif in 2013, filed the petition last year, seeking the disqualification of Asif for holding a work permit in the United Arab Emirates and hiding his income.

The petition said that Asif was entitled to draw a salary which was his receivable asset. However, since he did not declare it in the nomination papers while contesting the 2013 general elections, he is not eligible to be elected as a member of the National Assembly, the lower house of the country's parliament.

The petitioner further pointed out that Asif's work permit was renewed on June 29, 2017, and is valid till June 28, 2019.

Asif, for his part, 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.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK