- IHC Chief Athar Minallah says Abbasi should not hold a public office till next hearing
The Islamabad High Court stopped on Tuesday Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi from performing his duties as special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) after his appointment was challenged in court due to a case registered against him by the Anti Narcotics Force.
In a previous hearing, Minallah had rejected the plea to stop Abbasi from working as SAPM immediately but also directed the PM to review his appointment. In the latest development, Minallah said Abbasi should not hold a public office till the court's next hearing, scheduled for May 27, as a convicted person cannot hold any public office.
Earlier, former interior minister Sheikh Rashid's challenged the appointment of Abbasi as SAPM. In his petition, filed through his counsel Sajeel Sheryar Swati, Rashid said Abbasi's appointment was illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional as he was convicted and sentenced for offenses registered against him.
He said that the Anti Narcotics Force in 2012 had registered an FIR against Abbasi under Section 9-C, 14 and 15 of the Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997 for selling 500kg ephedrine to drug smugglers instead of using the controlled chemical in medicine.
Abbasi was sentenced to life in prison in July 2018 but in April 2019, the Lahore High Court suspended the sentence.