Pakistan's top court rules against disqualified PM Sharif

Sharif, 67, who had been disqualified to act not only as prime minister but also president of his party by the Supreme Court in July previous year in the whistleblower Panama Papers scandal, was however re-elected as the president of his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) in line with an election reforms bill adopted by the parliament in October last.

However, the legal hurdle in his way to become party chief was cleared on Monday when the National Assembly passed a controversial Election Bill 2017 that allows politicians disqualified from holding public office to head a political party.

While #MujhayKyunNikala trended on Twitter following the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister of Pakistan previous year, this recent verdict stirred Twitteratis to generate several hashtags to express their opinions over the recent political development.

Allies of the three-time prime minister, who was toppled in a military coup in 1999, have called the proceedings a political vendetta and suggested the powerful Pakistani Army might be behind it.

"The Election Commission is directed to remove name of Nawaz Sharif as president of PML-N from all official records", chief justice Saqib Nisar said from the bench.

Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb told Geo News the decision was in line with her expectations.

In his response to the development, Rana Sanaullah said Nawaz Sharif is their leader and no decision could break their commitment to him.

The judgement also put the Senate election, scheduled for March 3, under a cloud.

He maintained that the decision will not lead to minus-Nawaz proposition.

"Sharif can not be pulled out of the people's heart through court decisions", he said.

The initial response from PMLN members indicates that even if he can not be the head, "Sharif will continue to dominate the party from the sidelines", Askari said. "Such a decision was obvious to come in support of an earlier weak court order which disqualified the most popular prime minister", she said.

Constitutional lawyer Farogh Nasim said the ruling could also affect midterm Senate elections next month.


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