Pakistan appeals Sharif disqualification

The Pakistan government filed appeals on Thursday to overturn a court ruling that banned opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and his brother from contesting elections and sparked a political crisis.

The petitions were filed on the order of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who on Monday pledged that the government would reinstate judges sacked under emergency rule and file a petition against the Sharif brothers’ ban.

“We have filed four review petitions and asked the court to review the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif,” Attorney General Latif Khosa told reporters outside the Supreme Court.

“We have asked the court to start the hearing from tomorrow. If that is not possible, it should be heard as early as possible,” he said.

The Supreme Court on February 25 disqualified the Sharifs from contesting elections and holding public office, following criminal convictions.

After the government’s significant climbdown, Sharif called off a mass protest that had been due to descend on the capital, calming widespread fears of unrest and going some way towards defusing a political showdown.—AFP

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