Pakistani opposition seeks Sharif’s disqualification as MP

Islamabad : Pakistan’s opposition party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Wednesday filed a petition with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to seek the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as a member of parliament on the basis of some allegations, media reported.

According to the reports, two members of parliament from PTI, Murad Saeed and Ali Muhammad Khan, filed the petition which called for the disqualification of Sharif as a member of the National Assembly or the lower house of parliament.

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The applicants said the prime minister was no longer honest and righteous and, therefore, he was not eligible to be a member of the house, Xinhua reported.

The applicants also sought a copy of Sharif’s nomination papers from the Election Commission, which he submitted to contest the general elections May 11, 2013.

After submitting the application, the applicants told the media that the prime minister did not disclose his assets correctly and submitted wrong Income Tax details in the nomination papers.

“PM Nawaz Sharif told lies by not mentioning the details of cases against him in which he was accused and sentenced in the respective courts,” said Saeed.

Referring to two specific cases, the PTI parliamentarians claimed that the prime minister was one of the politicians accused of receiving some secret monetary favours in order to rig the 1990 elections, and he was also accused and sentenced in a plane hijacking case.

However, Sharif has already denied the allegations in the courts.

In 2000, an anti-terrorism court in the southern port city of Karachi sentenced Sharif to life imprisonment for hijacking a plane carrying then army chie Pervez Musharraf, who later became the president, and 198 other passengers. Later, Sharif went into exile in Saudi Arabia and returned to Pakistan in 2007.

PTI spokesperson Shireen Mazari said her party filed the petition on the grounds that Sharif failed to fulfill requirements as laid down in Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Article 62 defines the qualifications for becoming a member of parliament and Article 63 provides the details for disqualification of a member.

The applicants said that after getting the attested copies of Sharif’s nomination papers, they would also file a reference before the speaker of the National Assembly, seeking his disqualification as a member.

According to legal experts, if the premier is disqualified from the membership of the National Assembly, he would be automatically ineligible for the post of prime minister.

Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid, responding to the PTI move, said the prime minister and his party were ready to face the legal battle and they would defend their case according to law.

The move came after former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry’s son filed a similar application against PTI chairman Imran Khan. PTI leaders claimed they had solid proof that Chaudhry’s son was being supported by the ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.