Abbasi disqualified from holding public office for life

An election tribunal has declared former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi disqualified from holding any public office for life, SAMAA TV reported Wednesday.

Abbasi was disqualified for not declaring his assets in nomination papers he had filed to contest election from his home constituency of NA-57 (Murree).

The judgement was issued by Appellate Tribunal Rawalpindi in its written judgement. The panel rejected Abbasi’s candidature.

An applicant had challenged returning officer’s decision to accept Abbasi’s nominations papers. The applicant had alleged that Abbasi has understated his assets and tampered with the nomination papers.

The eight-page verdict issued by Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi declared that Abbassi is not eligible to become member of the Parliament under Article 62 (1) (F) of the Constitution as he is not Sadiq and Amin.

The verdict says Abbasi declared the value of his F-7/2 house in Islamabad as Rs0.3 million to obtain a loan of Rs25 million.

He also did not declare his assets in the nomination papers which is a clear violation of the oath Abbasi took as PM, the ruling said.

Article 62(1)(f) is the same provision under which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by Supreme Court on July 28, 2017 in the Panama Papers case.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was also disqualified under the same provision on Dec 15 last year by a separate SC bench.

Both the politicians have been deemed ineligible to hold public office for life.

Reacting to the verdict, Abbasi called the ruling a ‘wrong decision’.

“It’s absolutely a wrong decision and a misfortune. The tribunal has issued this verdict based on a petitioner’s worthless objections. I have been submitting this asset detail for last 25 years,” he said.

“The tribunal has no authority to ban someone for life. We will challenge it in Supreme Court,” he told SAMAA TV.

“This election is going to be controversial. The election commission and chief justice should take notice,” he said.