Pakistan bars former PM Sharif from holding office for life

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Pakistan's Supreme Court has disqualified Nawas Sharfi, who was the Prime Minister of Pakistan, from retaining a Public office. 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 was disqualified on July 28, 2017, in the Panama Papers case. A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was formed a year ago to probe the allegations on the Sharif family.

The apex court in its July 28 ruling of a year ago had disqualified Nawaz Sharif as president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), while Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was disqualified under Articles 62 of the constitution.

The decision was immediately panned by the PML-N.

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"But people of Pakistan will decide whether the disqualification of an elected prime minister is for one day or for life", she added.

"Today once again, the three-time elected prime minister of Pakistan has been disqualified for life", state minister and Sharif ally Marriyum Aurangzeb told reporters outside the court.

His allies have called the proceedings a political vendetta.

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The ruling, which has shut the doors of politics for the three-time premier, and for other politicians, including the secretary general of the main opposition party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jahangir Khan Tareen for life, was unanimously announced by a five-member bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.

The court has ruled that the disqualification will hold until the court declaration disqualifying the lawmaker stands. In 2009 and 2010, when the then ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) proposed removal of Article 62, Nawaz Sharif had opposed it, believing the move would upset the powerful military establishment.

Despite the numerous court rulings against the PML-N, the party has won a string of recent by-elections proving it will likely remain a force in the next polls.

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