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Pakistan's top court rules against disqualified PM Sharif

Pakistan's top court rules against disqualified PM Sharif

The amendment in the PML-N's constitution was moved by interim general secretary Ahsan Iqbal leading sacked premier Nawaz Sharif to party president s office.

Hours after the Supreme Court barred deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif from heading the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) removed on Wednesday Sharif's name as president of the ruling party.

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The judgment brushed aside the controversial Election Act 2017 which after being passed by both Houses of the Parliament previous year had paved the way for Nawaz Sharif to head the ruling PML-N after the Supreme Court's verdict on July 28, 2017 in Panama Papers Case deprived him the membership of the National assembly as well as the premiership.

Law expert S.M. Zafar, while talking to DawnNews, said that, legally at least, the apex court's decision is in accordance with the Constitution because a person who is not eligible to be a National Assembly member should not be party chief.

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

There was no reaction from ruling PML (N).

Sharif has said his removal from office was part of a political conspiracy against him, and his party and the judiciary have engaged in an escalating war of words.

Mr Sharif was the 15th prime minister in Pakistan's 70-year history - roughly half of it under military rule - to be ousted before completing a full term.

"As a result, all steps taken, all orders passed by Nawaz Sharif are also declared to be as if they had never been taken", Nisar said, as reported by Reuters news agency.

Fawad Chaudhry, spokesman for the Tahrik-e-Insaf party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, welcomed the court ruling.

Journalist and author Zahid Hussain, while speaking to DawnNews, said Sharif's ineligibility to remain PML-N chief does not mean he will no longer have any influence over the party.

In light of the Supreme Court's verdict, NAB filed three corruption references - Al Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, Avenfield properties, and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd - against Nawaz and his family in the accountability court.

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