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SC dismisses Sheikh Rasheed’s disqualification petition against PM Abbasi

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From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed  Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed’s disqualification petition against Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Rasheed, an ally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), had petitioned the apex court over alleged corruption in the award of a contract for the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) when Abbasi was the federal petroleum minister and sought a NAB inquiry against him as well as disqualification from Parliament.

As a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice  Saqib Nisar took up the petition, the court observed that the matter does not fall under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, related to protection of fundamental rights under which the apex court takes up cases. The bench ruled that the case can be taken to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which is an independent institution.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan added that NAB can summon the respondents if it deems fit.

Moreover, the bench inquired as to how, under the petition, the premier can be deemed not to be truthful and honest as per Article 62 of the Constitution.

Dismissing the petition, the chief justice remarked that they do not want to repeat the history of Reko Diq, Karkey and Pakistan Steel Mills cases. He added that the petitioner should know what those decisions cost Pakistan in the eyes of the world.

Rasheed has been claiming since Abbasi’s election as prime minister in August this year that the former petroleum minister is guilty of multi-billion rupee corruption.

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