Never denied foreign work permit, Asif submits reply in disqualification case | Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif submitted a written reply to the Islamabad High Court in the disqualification case against him on Friday.

Asif faces disqualification from Parliament over possessing an Iqama — a permit to work in the UAE.

In the 23-page long reply, Asif explained that he has never denied his employment contract with a foreign company. He accepted that he worked as the legal adviser for International Mechanical and Electrical Co (IMECO).

Moreover, he also raised objections against the petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Usman Dar.

Asif claimed that it is not correct to say that Usman Dar is a law-abiding citizen as the petitioner hid many facts from the court. This is the reason why Dar’s election petition, appeal and request have been rejected, he said.

He remarked that his business dealing with IMECO has nothing to do with the petitioner. The petitioner has no right to raise questions about the business dealings, he said, adding that the petitioner has failed to prove that any illegal activity was conducted. 

Asif also stated that it is incorrect to claim that he never disclosed receiving AED50,000. He said that he has shown AED50,000 as foreign income in his tax returns. 

On November 13, Asif had challenged the formation of a larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to hear his disqualification case.

Submitting a 7-page reply in court, Asif challenged the formation of a larger bench on September 23. He claimed that his right of appeal has been affected by the formation of a larger bench.

Asif further contended in his reply that the petitioner has gone through all legal remedies to get him (Asif) disqualified from Parliament.

The disqualification petition was filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Usman Dar, who was fielded by his party during the general elections of 2013 in NA-110, the same constituency from where Asif was elected to the National Assembly.

As per the petitioner, Asif is not entitled to hold the office of MNA nor of the federal minister under the Unlimited Term Employment Contract between him and International Mechanical and Electrical Co (IMECO), a company located in Abu Dhabi.

Asif has been hired as a full-time employee of IMECO since at least July 2, 2011 and has held various positions, including those of the legal adviser and special adviser, the petition states.

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 is receiving the same while serving as the foreign minister at the same time, it is alleged.

News Reporter

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