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Maryam Nawaz sharply criticised SC verdict

22 February, 2018

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PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday sharply criticised the Supreme Court verdict declaring a disqualified person ineligible to head a party, saying the judgement has only strengthened her father, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's stance.

"Will this decision make the party stop accepting Nawaz Sharif as the leader [of PML-N]?" she asked on Twitter. Answering the question herself, she said the SC ruling of today "has done nothing but reinfornce Nawaz Sharif's narrative".

In another tweet, she addressed PML-N loyalists and said: "Lions! Don't be concerned."

"These excesses will take Nawaz Sharif/Muslim League (N) even higher. Remember, when injustice crosses the limit it gets erased," said Maryam, who after the announcement of the judgement changed her Twitter display photo to one of her father with the accompanying text reading, "I too am Nawaz and I know how to fight for the truth."

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that an individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution cannot serve as head of a political party.

The apex court's verdict was in response to 17 petitions challenging the controversial Elections Act 2017, which had been bulldozed through parliament last year to pave the way for Nawaz Sharif's return to the PML-N's helm as party president.

In its judgement, the court declared Section 203 of the law — which allowed Sharif to retake his party's leadership — null and void, and subsequently ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to remove Sharif as president of the PML-N.

'No precedent of this verdict'
Separately, in an official response to the top court's judgement, the PML-N termed the ruling "contrary to the basic requisites of justice".

"There is no precedent of this judgement in democratic history," a PML-N spokesman said, claiming that the verdict will harm democratic values in the country.

Alleging that the court's ruling has robbed a political party of its democratic right to choose its leader, the statement said Nawaz Sharif's leadership "does not depend on a designation or rank".

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