Pakistan Supreme Court bars ex-PM Sharif from elected office
Jake Oresick at 12:27 PM ET
[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that bars Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister and current leader of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) , from holding elected office based on a past criminal conviction for “hijacking”. Sharif was convicted of the offense for attempting to divert a plane carrying Army commander Pervez Musharraf during a 1999 coup against Sharif that ultimately succeeded. Sharif said the ruling was retributive and that President Asif Ali Zardari offered him a favorable verdict in exchange for his support of Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. Wednesday’s decision also nullified the election of Sharif’s brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who had served as the Chief Minister of Punjab since his election last June. The removal of Shahbaz Sharif from office may be viewed as a political power-grab, as Punjab is the most populous and affluent region in Pakistan, and the PML-N holds a sizable plurality over Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in its provincial assembly.
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