Pak Foreign Minister Disqualified From Parliament Over UAE Work Permit

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In July 2017, then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned from his post after the Supreme Court found him guilty of corruption after his name surfaced in the Panama Papers.

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

Asif rejected the allegations and said the petitioner had concealed from the court that the issue related to the work permit had been adjudicated by the Election Tribunal because he had already presented all required documents before the court. "Instead of people questioning the PML-N over its five-year performance, it's now PML-N that's asking the people why its leaders have been forced out", he said.

The contract signed between the foreign minister and the company claimed that Asif was to receive a monthly basic salary of AED35,000 along with a monthly allowance of AED15,000.

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Arif said he would appeal the court ruling, which if upheld would prevent him from running in upcoming elections. "If you read the Article (62's) sub section D and E, that would render everyone disqualified under Islamic injunctions", he explained, adding the same legal and constitutional criteria should also be applied to the judiciary and the armed forces of Pakistan.

In the neighbouring country, India, every prime minister completed the term, but the situation in Pakistan was totally contrary to it, he lamented. The High Court delivered its verdict on a petition filed by Usman Dar, a member of the the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, who sought seeking Asif's disqualification for holding a UAE visa and its subsequent non-disclosure in the nomination papers filed during the 2013 elections.

"This decision is a great victory for PTI", Fawad Chaudhry, the party spokesman, told reporters outside the court.

This has dealt a blow to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party ahead of a general election due in a few months. His argument that he had never hidden his UAE work permit cut no ice with the bench and there is a more clear-cut decision than in the case of his erstwhile leader, Nawaz Sharif.

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