Lahore: A Pakistani court today turned down the request of a petitioner to summon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a two-decade-old case against him for allegedly possessing assets worth billions of rupees abroad. A five-member bench of Lahore High Court headed by Justice Muhammad Farrukh Irfan Khan observed that the court would not summon the prime minister before deciding the maintainability of the petition.
Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffery, counsel for petitioner Ali Imran, said if his client failed to prove Sharif’s assets abroad he would quit Pakistan. He said Sharif should have been stopped from contesting elections 24 years ago for transferring the country’s money abroad. He said Pakistan would not exist if the law was not equal for everyone. He also argued in court to place Sharif’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) till the final verdict on the petition. The petitioner said Sharif, who first became premier in 1991, was not eligible to hold the post of prime minister as he has assets worth billions of rupees abroad.
“PM Sharif should be declared disqualified as he does not meet the legal requirement under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution,” the petitioner said. The court adjourned the hearing till next week. The Lahore High Court on May 6 took up the 24-year-old petition seeking disqualification of Sharif for possessing billions of rupees worth of assets abroad and constituted a larger bench to hear the case. According to the law of the country, cases involving high-profile individuals such as the prime minister require at least five or seven judges on the bench.