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Nawaz Sharif's disqualification is for life, rules Pakistan Supreme Court

Nawaz Sharif's disqualification is for life, rules Pakistan Supreme Court

Sharif, 67, resigned in July previous year after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office over an undeclared source of income, but the veteran leader maintains his grip on the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

The Dawn newspaper quoted Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar as remarking from the bench that the verdict was handed down because the public deserves "leaders of good character".

Sharif in January had stated through a written statement before the bench that disqualification under Article 62 is confined only to the election in question, and it is not perpetual.The court had clubbed 17 petitions together to determine the duration of disqualification of lawmakers.

An influential opposition leader, Jehangir Tareen, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, was also declared disqualified for life under the judgment.

"The decision would prove a milestone to promote the culture of transparency", he said and added there was no comparison between the cases of late former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and corrupt Nawaz Sharif.

On July 28, 2017, Pakistan Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif after he was found guilty in the Panama Papers case.

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The unanimous vote by a five-judge panel cites an article in Pakistan's constitution that requires members of parliament to be "honest and righteous".

"Now today they disqualified (Sharif) for life".

"The lifetime disqualification will damage the party in elections besides putting deeper cracks into the party ranks", said Mazhar Abbas, a Karachi-based political analyst.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, the minister of information, denounced the verdict. Such a person can not contest elections or become a member of parliament.

In Friday's verdict, the apex court said that under the country's Constitution, no person once disqualified from office by the top court can hold public office again.

Despite not being party leader, Sharif has considerable sway over the workings of the PML-N and enjoys the support of its core leadership.