Pakistan’s top court rejects challenges to removal of ex-PM Sharif

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PV International Desk : Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday rejected petitions seeking a review of its July 28 ruling that disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office, upholding a verdict likely to influence the next general election, due in mid-2018.
After an investigation into the Sharif family’s wealth, the Supreme Court employed a little-used constitutional provision to rule Sharif unfit to hold office because he did not declare a small source of income, which he has disputed receiving.
The country’s top court also disqualified three of Sharif’s children, including heir-apparent Maryam and her husband, besides ordering a criminal investigation into the Sharifs and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who has stayed in his post.
On Friday, a five-judge bench dismissed the petitions filed by the Sharifs and Dar, without specifying reasons.
“All the review petitions stand dismissed,” said Asif Saeed Khosa, who headed the bench, which is expected to provide the reasons for its decision next week.
It remains unclear, however, whether the Sharifs will be disqualified for a fixed time, perhaps several years, or be barred from office forever.
That could have major implications for Nawaz and his daughter Maryam. She is being touted as a future leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, and is likely to run for parliament in the 2018 polls.