Pak HC disqualifies Khawaja Asif from parl over UAE work permit

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Court's ruling says foreign minister violated election laws by not declaring work permits in the U.A.E.

Asif was not available for comment immediately but rejected the charge that he had concealed anything and pledged to challenge the court ruling in a quick statement to a local television network.

The court, however, said that it would have been appropriate if petitioner Usman Dar, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party, had raised the matter in Parliament before petitioning the court.

Asif was hired as a full-time employee of IMECO on July 2, 2011 and held various positions, including those of the legal adviser and special adviser, the petition stated.

"We declare that the Respondent [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", reads the judgment announced by the IHC bench.

The PTI leader had urged the court to disqualify Asif, stating that the Supreme Court has already disqualified Sharif past year for having an "Iqama" of working in the company of his sons and not declaring his "receivable salary".

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The court judgment further said, "The lack of honesty was established by not disclosing the employment as an occupation and the salary received per month despite the vague and obscure amount declared as foreign remittances having been specifically challenged".

The foreign minister is a high-profile PML-N figure tipped as a possible replacement for Sharif.

The court removed him using Article 62 of the constitution, which stipulates parliamentarians must be "honest and righteous" and which was also used to oust Sharif.

"Go get him disqualified in a fixed match who you can't beat in polls but remember, people will even vote for Khawaja Asif's shadow", wrote Maryam Nawaz on Twitter.

Hailing the decision, PTI chairman Imran Khan tweeted, "Another darbari [courtier] of the godfather disqualified on the same pattern - using Iqama to shield corruption and indulge in money laundering - as well as being guilty of brazen conflict of interest".