Disqualification duration case: Nawaz not to partake in proceedings

ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif informed the court that he will not be a party to the case regarding the duration of disqualification where the court is interpreting Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif submitted his reply before the Supreme Court of Pakistan through the Advocate on Record Azam Nazeer Tarar distancing himself from the case.

On the previous hearing held on Wednesday January 31, Sharif’s counsel had sought time to consult the party leadership. The court had granted the request and had adjourned the hearing to recommence on Wednesday, Feb 7 (Today).

In his reply Sharif stated that, had he been party to the original proceedings, he would have requested Justice Azmat Saeed Shaikh and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan to recuse themselves from the bench “as they have already rendered a judgement regarding the issue of my qualification as a member of Parliament and have expressed their opinion about my person on a number of occasion, therefore it would be unfortunate if the were to again decide on the issues keeping my person in their view.”

Nawaz informed the court that he deliberated with party leadership and decided that his becoming party to the case which has been taken up “on the motion of many other aggrieved parties, having stakes in the issue, therefore my joining of the proceedings at this juncture before this bench may prejudice their cases.”

In conclusion Nawaz Sharif maintained that in his understanding “to take part in election process is a fundamental right and therefore no perpetual disqualification can be imposed on someone by interpreting Article 62 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

He further added that “a time limit could have been provided by the Parliament but since it has not been done so, the issue of qualification under Article 62 is confined only to the election in question.”

“I being a strong proponent of democracy believe that it is the right of people of Pakistan to participate in the process of election and to reject or elect candidate(s) of their choice. They enjoy an inalienable right to elect their representatives through a true democratic process and not be given the list of selective people through the process of elimination.”