Imran not out, Tareen disqualified


PTI chief welcomes Supreme Court decision but terms convict being ‘upright’

Sophia Siddiqui


The Supreme Court on Friday disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Jahangir Tareen but ruled in favour of PTI Chairperson Imran Khan in its much awaited judgment on the disqualification case against the two party leaders.
The three-member bench had reserved the verdict in the disqualification petition against the two PTI leaders on November 14.
Reading the judgment, Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar ruled that Imran is not disqualified as a parliamentarian as the petitioner was not directly affected in the foreign funding case.
The court also ruled that the ECP will impartially investigate the foreign funding claims against the PTI chief by scrutinising accounts up till five years ago.
The judgment states that Imran wasn’t bound to declare his offshore company, declared his London flat in an amnesty scheme and that his former wife Jemima gave Imran the funds for buying the Bani Gala estate.
With regards to Tareen, the judgment stated that the PTI secretary general had pleaded guilty to insider trading.
Tareen cannot be termed honest and stands disqualified for life as per Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, according to the Supreme Court judgment.
Article 62(1)(f) reads: “A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless-…he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.”
Moreover, the court ruled that Tareen used suspicious terms in his statements to the court.
It was also stated in the judgment that the court is not announcing its decision on Tareen’s agriculture land matter. Tareen did not declare his offshore company, the court stated.
The detailed written judgement in the petition against Tareen stressed the need for having honest leaders in the country, stating: “The states which are not governed by honest and upright people are bound to suffer and lag behind the developed nations of the world.”
On the maintainability of the petition, the judgement rejected the objection that it was filed by Abbasi in retaliation to a petition filed by Khan against Nawaz Sharif over the Panama Papers.
“We on the basis of the material on the record are not persuaded to hold that the petition is a counterblast to a similar kind of a petition filed by Mr. Imran Khan Niazi against Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif or this is a proxy petition filed for the benefit of someone else, and it is tainted with mala fide and has been filed with ulterior motives,” read the judgment.
Reacting to the judgement of the apex court Imran Khan lauded the Supreme Court verdict but said Jahangir Tareen was upright person.
He spoke briefly with reporters after the Supreme Court’s judgement in the case brought by the PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi, saying he “thanked God for being cleared in this fake case filed by a drug dealer.”
He claimed that ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif has to answer for taking out Rs300 billion from the country and only submitted one document — the Qatari letter — in the apex court during the Panama Papers case.“I’m hurt that I was compared to Nawaz. I was a cricketer who brought back halal money to the country [while Nawaz is a] money launderer,” he claimed.
Notwithstanding the verdict, he said, Tareen should not be compared to the “corrupt mafia” of the Sharif family, who Khan again accused of taking Rs300 billion. Compared to the Sharifs, Tareen conducted all his legitimate business in the country, Khan said.
He also said the PTI would file for a review of the Supreme Court’s judgement on Tareen, insisting it was based on a technicality. “His disqualification has taken one year and during the period he submitted his complete money trail and 60% related documents to apex court.
“The corrupts of the PML-N leaders criticize him and I was compare with a person who had gobbled up poor money,” Imran lashed out ruling party adding that Nawaz Sharif has sent 300 billion rupees to abroad and he had not provided anything to SC except Qatari letter.
He criticised the National Accountability Bureau over its role in the Hudaibiya case, which was quashed by the Supreme Court earlier on Friday.
Meanwhile, in his first reaction after the Supreme Court Verdict, in which apex court disqualified him for life, Jahangir Tareen seemed disappointed saying that notwithstanding every allegation leveled against him was proven wrong apex court has disqualified him mere on interpretation of trust deed.
In his statement on social media website Twitter, Jahangir Tareen said that all allegations of corruption and misuse of power has been proved wrong in the court.
“The allegations of write off loans, misleading statements regarding agricultural income, insider trading and misuse of powers have been proved wrong, however court has disqualified him on basis of trust deed explanation,” Tareen claimed.
The bench found PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen to be dishonest under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and Section 99 of Representation of People Act (ROPA), adding that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) should have taken action against him for insider trading.
Article 62(1)(f) — which sets the precondition for the head of government to be “sadiq and ameen” (truthful and honest) — had provided the grounds for the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in the July 28 judgement on the Panama Papers case.
“We are looking to see if those who hold public office, who govern the country, have engaged in corrupt practices or used their office for their own benefit,” the chief justice had said in October during a hearing of the case.

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