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Pak HC disqualifies Khawaja Asif from parl over UAE work permit

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Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif was on Thursday disqualified as a member of the parliament by the high court in Islamabad for concealing details of his UAE work permit while contesting elections in 2013.

A three-member special bench of the Islamabad High Court announced the verdict on a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Usman Dar, seeking disqualification of the foreign minister under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution for holding an Iqama (work permit) of the UAE.

Dar, who lost election against Asif in 2013, had challenged the qualification of Asif, 68, as the member of parliament for not declaring his job and salary while contesting the polls.

The bench unanimously ruled that Asif was not “truthful” and “honest”.

Asif will be unable to hold public or party office after the verdict.

The PTI leader had urged the court to disqualify Asif, stating that the Supreme Court has already disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last year for having an ‘Iqama’ of working in the company of his sons and not declaring his “receivable salary”.

The petitioner alleged that Asif had Unlimited Term Employment Contract with International Mechanical and Electrical Co (IMECO). He was hired as full-time employee in July, 2011 and held various positions.

He claimed that Asif under the contract was to receive a monthly basic salary of AED 35,000 along with a monthly allowance of AED 15,000, which he did not declare.

During the hearing, Asif had submitted a letter from the company that he was not full time employee and only worked as a consultant whose presence was not needed in the UAE, where the company is based.

The bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, had reserved the verdict on April 10.

Asif is one of top leaders of ruling Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz and his disqualification is considered a huge blow to the party ahead of election scheduled to be held after June.(Agencies)

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