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SC declares major political party leaders ineligible


Islamabad : The Pakistani Supreme Court on Wednesday declared former Prime Minister and major political party chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif as ineligible to contest the elections.

Shahbaz Sharif under this verdict has also lost his seat in the provincial assembly and being no longer member of the Punjab House, he is no more Punjab chief minister, as the apex court has annulled the earlier notification about his being chief minister.

A three-member bench comprising Justice Moosa K Leghari, Justice Sakhi Hassan Bukhari and Justice Sheikh Hakim Ali heard the appeals of the federal government against the June 23, order of the Lahore High Court disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from contesting a by-election for having being convicted.

A full bench of the Lahore High Court, however, had conditionally allowed Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Mian Shahbaz Sharif to hold the office of the chief executive of the province.

Advocate Athar Minullah expressing his views on the judgment said that the verdict was as it was expected. He added that he would not recognize the present Supreme Court.

He termed the verdict as a political decision. He was of the view that the judgment had violated the Supreme Courts Orders.

Sharif brothers refused to file any petition or be represented in the courts comprising judges who took oath of allegiance to Musharraf under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) he promulgated on November 3 last year after imposing emergency.

Former president Pervez Musharraf had sacked 60 independent judges of the superior courts and installed new pliant judges to drastically change the composition of the Supreme Court and high courts.

Nawaz Sharif, last week claimed that President Zardari wanted to oust him from politics.

Nawaz Sharif was twice elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan, serving two non-consecutive terms, the first from November 1, 1990 to July 18, 1993 and the second from February 17, 1997 to October 12, 1999.

Mr Sharif was overthrown in a 1999 military coup led by the then head of the army, Gen Pervez Musharraf. He was found guilty of hijacking and terrorism after ordering in 1999 that the plane carrying Gen Musharraf back to Pakistan be stopped from landing.

Following the verdict, Sharif brothers’ lawyer, Akram Sheikh told the media that the decision was as expected, as the government was giving dictation to the judges. He said that Sharif brothers were declared ineligible on the orders of President Zardari.

He said that the judges would be made accountable on the Day of Judgment. Akram Shiekh said that now it was up to the people to decide if the verdict was on merit.
He said that he couldn’t comment on the incomplete two-line judgment.