Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Friday filed a written response before the Islamabad High Court, raising objections to a petition that seeks his disqualification.
A three-member bench of the high court ─ comprising Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb ─ had admitted the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) activist Usman Dar for regular hearing on September 26.
The petition seeks Asif's disqualification under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, alleging that the foreign minister did not declare details of his employment contract with Mech and Elec Co LLC (IMECL), a company based in the United Arab Emirates, in his nomination papers for the 2013 elections.
The petition adds that Asif had been working as a special adviser in the company since 2011 for a salary of 50,000 UAE dirhams per month, which the minister did not declare in the nomination form while contesting from the NA-110 constituency.
When it admitted the petition for hearing, the high court had sought para-wise comments from Asif. Subsequently, the minister had sought more time to file the reply, which was submitted today.
In the 25-page response, the minister has admitted that he was providing advice to IMECL in his role as a legal adviser.
"It is correct that Khawaja Asif is affiliated with a foreign company," the reply states. However, Asif has refuted the allegation that he had concealed his salary from the UAE firm.
"The 50,000 dirhams were immediately included in the tax returns as income," the reply says. "Dar has not been able to point out any legal violations."
The reply maintains that the petitioner does not have the right to raise questions pertaining to company's relations.