Asia Pakistan: Top court allows former FM to contest polls

Pakistan: Top court allows former FM to contest polls

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Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Nawaz Sharif speak to media outside the accountability court on Friday.

 Pakistan’s top court on Friday overturned the lifetime disqualification of former Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, local media reported.

According to Express News, a local broadcaster, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, nullified the Islamabad High Court’s earlier verdict and declared Asif eligible for upcoming general election, which are scheduled to be held on July 25, Express News 

On April, 26, the Islamabad High Court disqualified the than foreign minister as member of parliament for life for hiding assets and not disclosing his employment in a UAE-based company.

Asif, a close aid of former premier Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified under article 62-1F of the constitution, an article under which Sharif was ousted in July last year by the country top court.  

Later, Asif had filed appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court. 

“Thanks God, it’s a blessing on me and I am really grateful to judiciary for today’s verdict,” Asif remarked on Twitter after the announcement of the judgment. 

Usman Dar, the petitioner and a rival candidate of Asif, who lost the 2013 general elections, congratulated him after the court verdict

“I accept the court verdict and congratulate Khawaja Asif,” Dar told reporters. 

Last year, a five-member Supreme Court bench disqualified Sharif for life in the Panama Papers scandal for hiding his work visa.

The three-time premier blames the country’s establishment — a term commonly used for the powerful army — behind his ouster.