Lahore: A petition seeking disqualification of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on money laundering charges has been admitted by a court here for hearing, 23 years after it was filed.
A Lahore High Court comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh yesterday admitted the petition after listening the arguments and requested the chief justice to constitute a five-member larger bench to hear it. The bench was hearing an application to fix hearing for the main petition pending since 1991.
Petitioner Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafree told the court that four years had passed since last hearing on his petition by a five-judge bench was held.
The bench was later dissolved after one of its members refused to hear the case due to personal reasons, he said.
Jafree pleaded that Nawaz Sharif caused a huge loss to the national exchequer by sending money abroad through illegal means and the anti-corruption agencies had turned a blind eye to the complaints in this regard.
"PM Sharif does not meet the criteria for being a member of the parliament as prescribed in Articles 62 & 63 of the Constitution, therefore he should be declared disqualified," he pleaded.
The division bench admitted the plea and referred the case to chief justice with a request to form a five-judge bench.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar whose son is married to Nawaz Sharif's daughter had submitted an affidavit in the court declaring that he laundered Nawaz Sharif's huge money to Dubai and London through illegal means. He confessed to his crime after the Nawaz Sharif government was overthrown by General Pervez Musharraf in 1999.
Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has also demanded investigation into money laundering charges against Sharif and his alleged involvement in receiving money from the ISI to form a grand political alliance against Benazir Bhutto's PPP in 1990.