Home Global Village Senior PML-N leader Khawaja Asif disqualified for life by IHC

Senior PML-N leader Khawaja Asif disqualified for life by IHC

Khawaja Asif
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In a remarkable turn of events, Islamabad High Court (IHC) has disqualified PML-N’s outspoken stalwart Khawaja Asif as a member of the parliament under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution for life, as he failed to declare an Iqama of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before contesting the 2013 general elections.

Following the footsteps of the historic decision which disqualified former PM Nawaz Sharif on July 28, 2017, and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen on December 15 last year, Asif was disqualified for life. He was declared unworthy to continue as a parliamentarian or contest the elections in future under the Article 62(1)(f).

Allah Al Haq hai – Kh Asif targeted SKMTH & has been publicly humiliated here & abroad”. Commenting on Asif’s ousting, PTI’s information secretary Fawad Chaudhary said that “after his dismissal, Khawaja Asif now must know what is sharam and what is haya”.

“We declare that the Respondent [Khawaja Asif] was not qualified to contest the General Election of 2013 from NA-110 as he did not fulfill the conditions described under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, read with section 99(1)(f) of the Act of 1976,” the judgment said.

The three-member bench, headed by the Justice Athar Minallah, was comprised of Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, who reserved the verdict on April 10. The judgment observed that lack of honesty on part of Asif was established as he had deliberately and willfully not disclosed his status as an employee of the company in UAE.

He was guilty of receiving the benefits from non-disclosure. After the verdict, Asif announced that he will challenge the IHC verdict in Apex Court and asserted that he had never concealed his assets from Election Commission Pakistan.

But, judgment read that “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 nondisclosure. 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.”

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PTI has hailed the decision. PTI chairman Imran Khan tweeted that, “another darbari of the Godfather disqualified on the same pattern – using iqama to shield corruption & indulge in money laundering – as well as being guilty of brazen conflict of interest. Allah Al Haq hai – Kh Asif targeted SKMTH & has been publicly humiliated here & abroad”.

Commenting on Asif’s ousting, PTI’s information secretary Fawad Chaudhary said that “after his dismissal, Khawaja Asif now must know what is sharam and what is haya”.

 

On contrary, Maryam Nawaz has condemned the decision. She lashed out at court for disqualifying Asif in a fixed match. She also claimed that “mark my words, people will vote even the shadow of Khawaja Asif” in the upcoming elections.”

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Despite being a member of parliament in Pakistan and serving on extremely sensitive posts of defense and foreign minister, Asif failed to disclose his occupational status in UAE, where he was working despite being not physically present in UAE.

He was guilty of receiving the benefits from non-disclosure. After the verdict, Asif announced that he will challenge the IHC verdict in Apex Court and asserted that he had never concealed his assets from Election Commission Pakistan.

Moreover, he was deemed dishonest for” not disclosing 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.”

 

It is a resounding victory for PTI and its leader Usman Dar who followed the case passionately. The Petitioner, Usman Dar was defeated in 2013 elections with the margin of 20,000 votes by Asif in NA-110 constituency in Sialkot. In his petition, he had argued that Asif purposely did not disclose that he was holding an Iqama, or a foreign work permit in UAE, in his nomination papers.

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Dar, through his counsel Sikandar Bashir Mohmand argued that Asif in his nomination papers mentioned himself as a businessmen but was working an employee of a company [the International Mechanical and Electrical Company (IMECL) – a limited liability company located in Abu Dhabi] in a completely different capacities as legal adviser’ and ‘special adviser’ from 2-7-2011.

The conflict of interest was too obvious to be ignored. The petitioner pointed that this act was a blatant violation of his oath of office under the Constitution, which was eventually proved in the court.


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