Eligibility in question: IHC seeks reply from Asif over Iqama

PTI calls for foreign minister’s disqualification under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution

Rizwan Shehzad September 26, 2017
According to PTI leader Muhammad Usman Dar, Asif has an Iqama (foreign work permit) which should lead to his disqualification. PHOTO: FILE


A larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notices to Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and others on a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), seeking Asif’s disqualification under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

The larger bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, issued notices to Asif, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), and the secretary National Assembly with directions to submit a reply and para-wise comments in the case.

The orders came during the hearing of the petition filed by the PTI’s Usman Dar, who had contested against Asif during 2013 general elections at NA-110 constituency. Dar argues that Asif be disqualified as he hid the fact of holding an Iqama or foreign work permit in his nomination papers.

Iqama allegation: Larger IHC bench to hear Asif’s disqualification case


The petitioner through his counsel, Sikandar Bashir Mohmand, nominated Asif, the ECP, and the NA secretary as respondents and sought relief under Article 199(1)9b)(ii) read with Article 63(1)(f).

He argued that Asif in his nomination papers mentioned himself as a businessman whereas his Abu Dhabi Iqama proved that he was and still is an employee of a company in a different capacity.

The counsel said Asif was not entitled to hold office of an MNA or that of a federal minister under the ‘Unlimited Term Employment Contract’ between him and International Mechanical & Electrical Company (IMECL), a limited liability company located in Abu Dhabi and existing under the UAE’s laws.

He claimed that Asif "has been continuously employed as a full time, salaried employee of IMECL since at least 2-7-2011" and held various positions, including that of ‘Legal Adviser’ and ‘Special Adviser’.

Iqama allegation: Larger IHC bench to hear Asif’s disqualification case

“The first article of the employment contract stipulates that Asif must provide services… within the UAE while the second article states that employee shall only have one rest day per week," he said.

The counsel said Asif was to receive a monthly basic salary of AED35,000 along with monthly allowance of AED15,000, making the aggregated payment of AED50,000 per month.

"[This amount] is currently being received by, and to which the Respondent No. 1 [Asif] is entitled (as a receivable and assets) whilst acting as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and MNA from NA-110," he said.

He said the salary and allowances amounting to Rs17,211,816 per annum at the prevailing current exchange rate have never been properly and specifically disclosed in Pakistan by Asif "betraying his dishonest intent and non-ameen and non-righteous character."

He said the documents attached with the petition regarding Asif's employment period in the UAE reveal that he remained fulltime employee at the IMECL since 2011 (or even before that time) till date.


Khawaja Asif had not just one but three Iqamas

The documents prove that the latest ‘Labour Card’ issued by the Ministry of Labour of the UAE was issued on 29-6-2017 and is stated to have an expiry date of 28-6-2019.

“This, inter alia, establishes that in spite of being the Foreign Minister and MNA Asif intends to surreptitiously and secretly continue with his fulltime employment with IMECL, in violation of his oath, his obligation of fidelity and no conflict to the office of federal minister and his continuing obligation under provisions of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution,” he added.

The counsel argued that Asif has secretly been a fulltime, salaried employee of an ‘offshore company’ from which he was, and is, entitled to receive substantial salary and allowances.

"Such an individual is not fit to lawfully continue to hold the office of Federal Minister or of MNA," he said. In the wealth statements, he added, Asif failed to declare the actual balance of each account.

He requested the court to declare that Asif is neither of good character in terms of Article 62(1)(d), inter alia, nor is honest, righteous or sagacious. He asked the court to declare him ineligible for holding a public office.



AK | 4 years ago | Reply I am an overseas Pakistan holding Iqama of one of GCC country. I declare myself ineligible for Pakistan in the eyes of Court. Thank you
Ahmed | 4 years ago | Reply Why only PML(N)'s leaders Iqamas? why the government has turned a deaf ear to other parties' leaders? Why Khawja Asif and why not Asif Ali Zardari?
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