Khawaja Asif disqualified

Khawaja Asif disqualified

The Islamabad High Court announced its verdict on a petition seeking the disqualification of Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif for holding an work permit (Iqama) of the United Arab Emirates today (Thursday) and ruled that he stands disqualified.

The petition alleged that Asif did not mention his foreign employment in his nomination papers. The foreign minister has denied the charge.

Khawaja Asif disqualified

The verdict was reserved by the larger bench headed by Justice Athar Minallah on April 10 after hearing arguments from both sides.

The court had also issued a notice to all parties to appear before it today.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Minallah will announce the verdict shortly.

The disqualification petition was filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Usman Dar, who was fielded by his party during the general elections of 2013 in NA-110, the same constituency from where Asif was elected to the National Assembly.

As per the petitioner, Asif is 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.

Asif has been hired as a full-time employee of IMECO since at least July 2, 2011 and has held various positions, including those of the legal adviser and special adviser, the petition states.

The contract signed between the foreign minister of Pakistan and the company claim that Asif was to receive a monthly basic salary of AED35,000 along with a monthly allowance of AED15,000.

He is receiving the same while serving as the foreign minister at the same time, it is alleged.

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