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Why SC did not disqualify PM Imran Khan?

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News Analysis |

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has dismissed a review petition seeking disqualification of Prime Minister of Imran Khan. The petition was filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mr. Hanif Abbasi against the earlier decision of the court. The court had dismissed the petition during the last hearing of the case.

The court maintained that petition “did not raise any lawful point which should be reviewed”. The court repeatedly told Mr. Akram Shiekh that the petition had no points which needed a larger bench. The chief justice had asked Advocate Akram Shaikh why he had lodged the plea. “On what grounds do you want the full court to hear this petition?” Justice Nisar asked.

The top court has disqualified him for not being honest and truthful. He was recently released on a bail by the Islamabad High Court.

It is important to mention here that Mr. Abbasi, in his 13-page review petition, had demanded the disqualification of Imran over non-disclosure of his assets and ownership of offshore companies. The petition stated that since Imran had become the prime minister, the matter was more pertinent for the public.

The original petition, filed by Abbasi in November 2016, had sought Tareen and Imran’s disqualification over non-disclosure of their assets and ownership of offshore companies. It accused the PTI leaders of not declaring their assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and violations of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1979, and Peoples Act, 1974. It also claimed that the PTI was a ‘foreign-funded’ party.

Read more: SC rejects the petition seeking PM Imran Khan’s disqualification

The court has disqualified Mr. Tareen for the lifetime. Mr. Tareen’s review petition has also been dismissed by the top court. The judgment said Imran wasn’t bound to declare his offshore company, he had declared his London flat and that his former wife Jemima furnished him funds for buying the Bani Gala house.

Interestingly, an anti-narcotics court had sentenced PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi to life in prison in an ephedrine quota case. Hanif Abbasi was accused of misappropriating 500kg of the controlled chemical ephedrine, obtaining it in 2010, and selling it to narcotics smugglers. He was later on arrested and taken to Adiala jail.

The top court made it clear yesterday that Panama Papers couldn’t be equated with that of Imran Khan since both cases had stark differences.

PML-N is also infamous for misusing his position against the poor of his constituency. Mr. Abbasi remained in the news when he backed one of his drivers who was allegedly involved in a raped case.

As a matter of fact, after the Panama Papers judgment, the PML-N has been using various platforms to get Mr. Khan disqualified. Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Iftekhar Chaudhary also made several attempts using the name of Imran Khan’s alleged daughter to get Imran Khan out of the electoral politics.

Read more: Imran Khan’s disqualification case: Democratic gracefulness expected by all parties

Imran’s first wife Ms. Jemima has, however, always maintained that PM Khan was never involved in any illegal activity to get money. But political rivals in Pakistan accuse Imran Khan of not disclosing his assets and the name of his daughter in his nomination papers. It is also important to mention here that prior to becoming PM, Mr. Khan never held any public office in the country.

Unlike Nawaz Sharif who has been PM thrice but remained unable to complete his tenure. Mr. Sharif is accused of massive corruption and misuse of authority and making assets beyond known sources. The top court has disqualified him for not being honest and truthful. He was recently released on a bail by the Islamabad High Court.

Read more: Will Imran Khan get disqualified today?

Some segments of media made deliberate efforts to equate the case of PM Khan with that of Nawaz. The fact, however, remained unquestionable that both cases had a different legal basis which demanded entirely different constitutional lens to be assessed and judged. The top court made it clear yesterday that Panama Papers couldn’t be equated with that of Imran Khan since both cases had stark differences.


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