The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday barred former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life under the section 62 of the constitution of Pakistan for his asset issue.
A five-member bench delivered the verdict on the question of the period of the disqualification of a member of the parliament.
The court had disqualified Sharif as prime minister over corruption charges in 2017 but it had not mentioned the disqualification period in the verdict that was delivered on July 28, 2017.
The five judges in an unanimous ruling said those who are not “honest” and “truthful” under the country’s constitution are “banned from parliament for life.”
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of Sharif rejected the verdict and said the former prime minister was “punished for eliminating terrorism and carrying out development projects.”
“The verdict is a joke and such decisions have also been announced about 17 prime ministers,” State Minister of Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb said.
The minister told reporters in Islamabad that the verdict will not affect the PML-N’s performance and the party will be victorious in the coming parliamentary elections, which are scheduled in July.
An influential opposition leader Jehangir Tarin, who belongs to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf or Justice Movement, was also declared disqualified for life under the judgment.
NAN reports that in October 2017, Shariff was indicted over allegations of corruption, the latest setback for the deposed leader who remains one of the most popular politicians in Pakistan.
Sharif, 67, was ousted from power in July 2017 by the country’s Supreme Court after months of hearings on the corruption charges.
He and his family stand accused of using offshore holding companies to buy luxury properties in London, charges stemming from the Panama Papers leaks in 2016.
Sharif, who was not in court, sent a plea of not guilty.
His daughter Maryam and her husband, Muhammad Safdar, were also named in the indictment by the anti-corruption court.
“I think that if our justice system continues like this then we will get nothing but embarrassment,” he was quoted as saying by the Geo News channel in Pakistan.
Sharif’s supporters claim he is the target of high-level conspiracies that include the country’s powerful military.