Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen have been disqualified from holding any public office for life by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A four-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday delivered the verdict remarking that public representatives should be truthful. The judgement of the apex court has received criticism from several ministers in the country, who have laughed off the judgement calling it a joke.

Earlier in 2017, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from holding public office with immediate effect after his name emerged in major corruption cases courtesy of the infamous Panama Papers. On Friday, the top court said that the disqualification of the stained ex-Prime Minister stands for life. Article 62(1)(f), which sets the precondition for a member of Pakistan’s parliament to be sadiq and ameen (honest and righteous), was the one under which Sharif was disqualified as PM last year.

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Just after the ruling was announced, Marriyun Aurangzeb, state minister for information and broadcasting, ridiculed the judgement saying that no corruption allegations have been proven against Nawaz Sharif to date and yet the jury on Sharif is out. “The trial has been going on in NAB court and the disqualification verdict is already out,” she said. She further said that the verdict is the “same joke” that has been done with all the 17 prime ministers in the history of Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif is a billionaire Pakistani businessman and the longest-serving prime minister of the country until he was disqualified for life from office. He had previously served as Pakistan’s PM from 1990 to 1993 and then again in 1997 to 1999. He rose to the power again in 2013 and served as the PM until 2017.

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