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Pakistan court disqualifies foreign minister

April 26, 2018

The ruling against Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif comes months before elections. He is a high-profile politician from the PML-N, whose leader Nawaz Sharif was ousted on graft allegations last year.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif
Image: Getty Images/AFP/N. Asfouri

A Pakistan court on Thursday disqualified Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif from parliament for violating election laws.

The Islamabad High Court decision is a major blow to ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party (PML-N) ahead of national elections scheduled for later this year.

PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif was ousted last July over graft charges stemming from the leaked documents known as the Panama Papers. Earlier this month Sharif was barred from politics for life in another court decision.

Read moreWhy ousted Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif turned against the powerful military

The foreign minister is a high-profile PML-N figure tipped as a possible replacement for Sharif.

Asif said he would appeal the court ruling, which if upheld would prevent him from running in upcoming elections.

Read more:Opinion: Pakistan needs ex-PM Sharif's political role now more than ever

The charges against him relate to possession of a work permit in the United Arab Emirates in violation of Pakistan's election laws.

PML-N officials have accused the judiciary and the powerful military of targeting the party.

The case against Asif was brought by Usman Dar, a politician from Arif's constituency from the opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Asif on curbing terrorism

cw/rt (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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