SC declares Khawaja Asif eligible to contest elections

Islamabad ,Moazzam Raza Tabassam/Alladad Sadique: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday nullified Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) disqualification verdict against Khawaja Asif, making PML-N leader eligible to contest upcoming national elections scheduled to be held on July 25.

Earlier this year, the IHC bench, headed by Justice Athar Minallah and comprising Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani and Justice Aamer Farooq, had disqualified Khawaja Asif as a member of parliament under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution for not disclosing his employment in a UAE company as an occupation as well as the monthly salary he was receiving.

PML-N leader had challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on May 2, admitting that he was unable to declare his foreign bank account in the nomination papers “unintentionally”.

Asif had also accused the petitioner, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Usman Dar, of hiding facts from the court.

Dar had moved IHC seeking disqualification of Asif over failure to declare his foreign employment in the nomination papers for 2013 general elections.

Earlier on Friday, a three-member bench of the SC, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and also comprised of Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, had reserved the decision.

The Supreme Court has yet to issue a detailed order in the case.

Following the decision, Khawaja Asif said Allah had bestowed his mercy upon him.

Khawaja M. Asif

اللہ نے مجھ عاجز اور گناہ گار پر رحم اور کرم کیا ھے ۔۔ رب العزت کا احسا ن اور مھر بانیوں کا شمار ھی نھیں ۔۔ میں عدلیہ کا شکریہ ادا کرتا ھوں ۔۔ الحمداللہ

“I want to thank the judiciary,” Asif further tweeted.

Reacting to the verdict, Dar congratulated Khawaja Asif for becoming eligible to contest general elections. “We will compete in the court of people in Sialkot now. There will be a tough competition in Sialkot.”

While speaking to media outside the Supreme Court, he remarked that he has a message for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz. “Maryam and Nawaz may keep saying whatever they want to the court but it is the court which has deemed their worker to be eligible.”

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