Iqama case: Asif challenges formation of larger bench in IHC

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Iqama case: Asif challenges formation of larger bench in IHC

Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif on Monday challenged the formation of a larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to hear a petition filed by PTI's Usman Dar seeking his disqualification case over holding Iqama (work permit). According to the petition, despite being the foreign minister and an MNA, Asif intends to secretly continue his fulltime employment with IMECL, in violation of his oath, his obligation of fidelity and the assurance of no conflict to federal minister office, while also being against his continuing obligation under provisions of Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.

He further said that the petitioner has used all legal remedies to disqualify him from Parliament.

A larger bench headed by Justice Aamer Farooq has sought a written reply from the foreign minister.

During the course of proceedings, the counsel for Khawaja Asif sought more time to submit reply in the matter and also filed a civil miscellaneous appilcation (CMA ) challenging formation of the larger bench.

The reply stated that the petitioner concealed all facts from the court and has utilized all the forums for his disqualification.

"[This amount] is now being received by, and to which the Respondent No. 1 [Asif] is entitled (as a receivable and assets) whilst acting as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and MNA from NA-110", he said.

Dar has moved the petition through his counsel Sikandar Bashir, nominating Khawaja Asif , the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the National Assembly secretary as respondents.

Usman Dar had also revealed the iqama of the minister and meant to move the court.

The contract signed between the foreign minister of Pakistan and the company claim that Asif was to receive a monthly basic salary of AED35,000 along with a monthly allowance of AED15,000. He has argued that Asif be disqualified as he did not reveal an Iqama or foreign work permit in his nomination papers.

Responding to the accusations, Asif had said that he had declared his salary received through the Iqama with the authorities for the last 27 years.

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