Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualified deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif from contesting elections for life on Friday amid an ongoing corruption trial. The ruling ended doubts about the duration of last year's disqualification of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office for failing to disclose his assets and wealth before contesting the 2013 general elections.
According to The Dawn, it is the same article under which Sharif was disqualified from the post of Prime Minister over the Panama Papers leak case in July previous year by the Pakistani top court. "Such a person can not contest elections or become a member of Parliament", the verdict read.
Sharif had been disqualified by the top court in July previous year over the Panama Papers scandal.
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"The verdict is a joke and such decisions have also been announced about 17 prime ministers", State Minister of Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb said.
In an informal conversation with party loyalists after offering the Friday prayers, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz "Quaid for life" instructed his party workers to face the situation with tolerance and restraint.
Article 62, which sets the precondition for a member of parliament to be "sadiq and ameen" (honest and righteous), is the same provision under which Sharif, 68, was disqualified. Interestingly, his disqualification in the Panama papers leak case was not made on the basis of the corruption charges related to the scam.
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An influential opposition leader Jehangir Tarin, who belongs to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf or Justice Movement, was also declared disqualified for life under the judgment.
The decision was immediately panned by the PML-N.
She told reporters "nameless and faceless people" had interfered to orchestrate Sharif's political demise and the downfall of the PML-N. Sharif has denied any wrongdoing.
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However, the only real way to bring Nawaz Sharif back to office is if "they come into power through the election and amend the constitution", said former Justice Shaiq Usmani.