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Pakistan HC accepts petition to prevent Nawaz Sharif from heading PML-N

A Pakistani high court has accepted a petition aimed at preventing ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from again heading his Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) party.

Sharif, 67, was re-elected as the party chief earlier this month after he stepped down as the president of his party following a decision of disqualification by the Supreme Court on July 28 in the Panama Papers case.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Aamer Farooq yesterday admitted the petition and issued notice to Sharif and others.

The same petitioner has challenged the Election Reforms Act (ERA) 2017 and through the recent petition, he said that permitting a disqualified person to head a political party was against the spirit of the Constitution.

The petition cited Secretary Law & Justice, Establishment Division, Cabinet Division, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) through its chairman and secretary and Sharif as respondents.

The petitioner pointed out to the court that Sharif was disqualified as a member of the National Assembly through a verdict of the Supreme Court.

The petitioner maintained that according to Article 5 of the Political Parties Ordinance (PPO) 2002, a disqualified person could not preside over any meeting of any political party.

Neither a disqualified person can become president of a party, nor can head any political party, the petitioners said. The petitioner argued that ERA 2017 was against the basic scheme of the Constitution as no law could be passed against the Islamic injunctions.

Furthermore, this ERA to the context of allowing a disqualified person to head the party is also in contraventions of Quran and Sunnah.

The petitioner was of the view that a law should be made keeping in view the legitimate needs of the people and not for a single person.

Earlier, parliament adopted the Election Reforms Act (ERA) 2017 this month to pave way for Sharif to become president of PML-N once again.

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