Pakistan HC bars Nawaz Sharif from contesting elections for life

A Chinese worker standing on top of Pakistani police vehicle

A Chinese worker standing on top of a Pakistani police vehicle | Twitter

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday declared that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ineligible to hold a public office for life, court records and local media reported.

The Article 62 (1)(f) reads, "A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and righteous, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law".

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who was heading the bench, observed before the verdict that the public deserved leaders of good character. The allegations, which he denies, followed disclosures in the Panama Papers leaks in 2016.

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

In October, an anti-corruption court indicted Sharif on corruption charges.

"Pakistan is fighting the case for democracy, and Nawaz Sharif will take this to its final conclusion". Supreme Court Justice Umar Ata Bandial has described the decision of the jury against Nawaz's disqualification as being permanent, so he can't challenge it in anyway, and will just have to accept it.

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"This is an accusation on which a sitting prime minister was disqualified, the trial is ongoing accusation has yet been proven", said State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, speaking to reporters shortly after the verdict was announced.

"Not a single rupee of corruption was proved", she said, while outside the court on Friday.

Sharif has been a fixture in Pakistani politics for almost three decades, parlaying a stint as chief minister of Punjab state into a role on the national stage into the prime minister's post for the first time in 1990.

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Some analysts expect Sharif's brother, Shehbaz Sharif, a powerful chief minister of Punjab, to campaign for the prime minister's job.

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