Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office or contesting elections for lifetime in a landmark verdict that could change the course of the country's political history.
A five-member bench delivered the verdict on the question of the period of the disqualification of a MP, Xinhua news agency reported.
The five judges, in an unanimous ruling, said those who were not "honest" and "truthful" under the country's constitution were "banned from parliament for life".
"This is the same (kind of) decision that led to the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and (then) to the disqualification of an elected Prime Minister (Nawaz)," she added.
An influential opposition leader, Jehangir Tareen, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, was also declared disqualified for life under the judgment.
The ruling said the disqualification of any MP or a public servant under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution would be permanent. Such a person cannot contest elections or become a member of Parliament.
Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court last year for concealing in his nomination papers the receivable income from his son's company in the UAE. Sharif has denied any wrongdoing.
Likewise, Tareen was disqualified in December for failing to declare an offshore company and a foreign property in his election nomination papers.
Tareen took to Twitter to say that the disqualification was "not applicable" in his case.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) hailed the ruling against Sharif.
Female activists from PML-N protested outside the top court following the decision.
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