IHC seeks Khawaja Asif’s reply on UAE iqama

ISLAMABAD: A larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notice to Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on a petition seeking his disqualification under Article 62 and 63 for concealing details of his foreign work permit.

The larger bench, headed by Justice Aamer Farooq, and also comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb.

The petition was filed by PTI leader Usman Dar, who claimed that the foreign minister was an employee of a UAE-based company.

In his arguments, Dar’s counsel Sikandar Bashir said that Khawaja Asif was a permanent employee in a foreign firm and his iqama (work permit) was valid till June 2019.

The petitioner alleged that Asif did not disclose details of his employment with a Dubai-based company and his salary. Asif did not declare his employment with the foreign company in his nomination form for the 2013 general elections, he added.

Khawaja Asif, he said, was no longer ‘Sadiq and Amin’ as he had concealed his assets and facts in his nomination papers.

The court sought a response from Khawaja Asif, ECP and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

Speaking to media persons after the court’s hearing, Usman Dar said that how could Pakistan’s full-time foreign minister be an employee of a foreign company abroad.

“Khawaja Asif will be disqualified like his ousted leader Nawaz Sharif and he too will take out his own container in Sialkot to ask why he was ousted,” he taunted.