Updated Apr 27, 2018 11:06am

Khawaja Asif disqualified under Article 62(1)(f), IHC rules 'with a heavy heart'

Dawn.com | Mohammad Imran

"It is obvious from the facts and circumstances in the instant case that Asif had deliberately and willfully not disclosed his status as an employee of the Company , nor receiving of the salary per month pursuant thereto, despite having been expressly put to challenge by the other contesting candidates," said the judgement.

"The validity of 'Iqama', working as an employee of the Company and receiving a substantial salary without being physically present, which is AED 50,000/- per month under the Third Contract executed in July 2017, were some benefits gained from non disclosure. Disclosure would have led to giving up the 'Iqama' and the hefty salary paid by the Company for some advice sought telephonically by a foreign based employer from the prospective Defense and then Foreign Minister of Pakistan."

"The lack of honesty was established by not disclosing the employment as an occupation and the salary received per month despite the vague and obscure amount declared as foreign remittances having been specifically challenged. This would also apply to the non disclosure of the account maintained with the Bank of Abu Dhabi."

While concluding the judgement, the bench observed that "it is not a pleasant duty for any court to be called upon to examine and exercise powers of judicial review which may lead to an elected representative beingdisqualified as Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)".

"We have handed down this judgment with a heavy heart not only because a seasoned and accomplished political figure stands disqualified but more so because the dreams and aspirations of 342,125 registered voters have suffered a setback."

PTI's 'victory'

Petitioner Usman Dar of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), who lost elections to Asif in 2013, had filed the petition last year, seeking Asif's disqualification for holding a UAE iqama (visa).

Calling Asif an underworld don, he give the credit of this "success" to PTI chief Imran Khan. He also thanked Jahangir Tareen — PTI leader who was also disqualified under the same Article (62)(f) last year.

Supporters of the PTI started chanting slogans of "Go Nawaz Go" outside the court after the verdict was announced in a packed courtroom.

The petition filed by Usman Dar had said that Asif was entitled to draw a salary which was his receivable asset; however, since he did not declare it in the nomination paper while contesting the 2013 general elections from NA-110, he is not eligible to hold the National Assembly seat.

The petition pointed out that the iqama of Asif was renewed on June 29, 2017 and was valid till June 28, 2019, which established that in spite of being a federal minister, Asif “intends to surreptitiously and secretly continue with his full-time employment with IMECL in violation of his oath of office under the Constitution”.

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