ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday accepted an appeal filed by former foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif against his lifetime disqualification under Article 62 of the Constitution.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial and comprising Justices Faisal Arab and Sajjad Ali Shah, heard the appeal against the verdict of the Islamabad High Court in Asif’s assets case.
The apex court, declaring the lifetime disqualification null and void, allowed the former minister to take part in the general elections, set to be held on July 25. Justice Bandiyal read the short verdict, adding that the detailed verdict will be issued later.
The court has reserved the verdict earlier today after hearing the arguments of Asif’s counsel and lawyer of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Usman Dar.
Dar talking to media outside the court said that they will decide about the future course of action after reviewing the detailed verdict.
The former foreign minister thanked judiciary over the verdict in a tweet following the disqualification.
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
— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) June 1, 2018
On May 2, Asif challenged his disqualification verdict in the apex court, stating that he unintentionally failed to disclose his foreign work permit in his nomination papers to contest general elections in 2013.
Asking the court to overturn the high court verdict, he also pleaded the court to declare a notification issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding his disqualification as null and void.
The former minister further said that he had declared the foreign bank account and work permit before the case was lodged against him.
Asif announced his decision to move the apex court while addressing a public gather in his hometown, Sialkot, on Tuesday, saying he hoped for justice from the top court in the country.
He said that someone else will contest the election in his constituency if failed to win the case, asserting that he will however continue to serve people as a political worker.
He added that he supported former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at every state and he was proud of it.
IHC Disqualifies Asif For Life
On April 26, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dealt another blow to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz after it disqualified the country’s Foreign Minister for life in the disqualification case.
Khawaja Asif, who is a central leader of PML-N and had contested elections from Sialkot in 2013 was declared ineligible unanimously for holding office on account of Article 62 (1)(f) of the constitution in a case related to his foreign permit (iqama).
‘Khawaja Asif deliberately concealed his assets’ remarked the court in a short judgment announced by Justice Athar Minallah who headed a three-member larger bench.