Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan hailed Islamabad High Court’s decision disqualifying Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif from Parliament.
“Another darbari of the godfather disqualified on the same pattern,” Imran tweeted regarding Asif’s disqualification from Parliament for holding an Iqama (work permit) of the United Arab Emirates.
“Using Iqama to shield corruption and indulge in money laundering – as well as being guilty of brazen conflict of interest,” he added explaining why Asif and former premier minister Nawaz Sharif were disqualified.
“Asif targeted SKMTH and has been publicly humiliated here and abroad,” the PTI chairman further said.
The IHC ruled on Thursday that Asif stands disqualified from Parliament for holding an Iqama (work permit) of the United Arab Emirates.
The court announced its verdict on a petition stating that Asif did not mention his foreign employment in his nomination papers.
The IHC ruled that Asif is not ‘honest’ and ‘truthful’ as per the Constitution. The court stated that Asif did not mention his foreign employment in his nomination papers.
The three bench members unanimously ruled that Asif was not qualified to contest the 2013 general election 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 Representation of People Act 1976.
The verdict came on a disqualification petition filed by PTI’s Usman Dar, who contested and lost the 2013 general election against Asif in NA-110, Sialkot.
Salute judiciary for commendable judgment disqualifying Asif: Dar
PTI leader Usman Dar said he salutes the judiciary for disqualifying Asif.
“I salute the judiciary on this commendable judgment,” Dar said while addressing the media outside the IHC.
Dar had petitioned that Asif was not entitled to hold the office of MNA nor of the federal minister under the Unlimited Term Employment Contract between him and International Mechanical and Electrical Co (IMECO), a company located in Abu Dhabi.
Jubilant after hearing the verdict, Dar said, “I congratulate the people of Sialkot.”
“People of Sialkot have finally been rid of this godfather,” he added.
The PTI leader also congratulated party workers and thanked them for their “support on social media”.
“All credit for today’s victory goes to my leader Imran Khan,” he added while thanking the PTI chief and Jehangir Tareen.
Dar further said that he warned Asif that he “will not give up and will keep fighting.”
He also criticised Asif’s earlier speech against PTI chief Imran Khan in Parliament and said, “This is the same Asif who criticised my leader in Parliament and I then vowed to throw him out of there.”
‘Asif used foreign account for money laundering’
Speaking to media, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that Khawaja Asif had opened a foreign account and transferred funds to and through it. He alleged that the former federal minister used his foreign account as a tool for laundering money.
“Any person who wants to become a member of the Parliament must fully disclose their assets,” the PTI leader said, adding that while Asif had disclosed his Iqama he had failed to inform the National Assembly about his foreign employment status and the salary drawn from it thereof.
“Give me one example in the world where the foreign minister was employed in another country,” said Chaudhry. “How will the citizens of a country react if one of their ministers is employed by a foreign country…it is a clear case of conflict of interest.”
The PTI leader further said that Asif was free to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the Islamabad High Court’s decision but the decision would reap him nothing but embarrassment.
Responding to a question about his own party’s acceptance of disqualification of its members for life, Chaudhry reminded that PTI had accepted the apex court’s verdict on Jahangir Tareen’s disqualification case.
“Voters have the right to know the employment details of the person they are voting for.”