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Former Pakistani PM Turns To Court To Challenge His Removal From Office

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (file photo)
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (file photo)

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has filed petitions with the country's Supreme Court challenging his disqualification from office over undeclared assets.

Environment Minister Mushahidullah Khan, who is also a member of Sharif's party, said on August 15 that three petitions have been filed with the court by the former premier’s lawyers.

"It is our right to seek a review," the Reuters news agency quoted Jan Achakzai, an official at the ruling PML-N party, as saying. "People of Pakistan haven't accepted the decision."

Sharif, 67, resigned during his third term as prime minister shortly after the same court ruled on July 28 that he should be disqualified and ordered a criminal probe into his family's wealth.

The investigation stemmed from the so-called Panama Papers leaks in April 2016, when documents from a Panama-based law firm revealed that three of Sharif's four children owned offshore companies and used them to buy properties in London.

According to Achakzai, the appeals seek a review of the disqualification on the fact that two of the five Supreme Court judges, who had already given a dissenting note in an April verdict ruling, were not supposed to sit on the panel that gave the final ruling in July.

Within days of the court decision, Sharif moved quickly to have the PML-N’s strong majority in parliament approve Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as his replacement.

Sharif held a series of rallies across the country last week, criticizing the court ruling and seeking to whip up popular support.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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