In an apparent move to deprive former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif of holding political offices, the Pakistani military government on Wednesday issued an ordinance barring any person holding any office of political party from being elected or chosen as a Member of the Parliament, if convicted.
President Rafiq Tarar issued the ordinance - "Political Parties Amendment Ordinance 2000" - which amends a 1962 Political Parties Act so that any person who has been disqualified from being elected to Parliament or has been convicted of a criminal offence cannot hold any office in a political party.
The amendment says no one convicted of crimes involving "moral turpitude or offences under the anti-terrorism act or offences involving public order or morality and sentenced by a court of law to imprisonment for not less than two years" can be an office bearer of a political party.
Sharif and Bhutto are automatically debarred from heading Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) respectively.
"Any person who after the dissolution of a political party holds himself out as a member or office bearer of that party, or otherwise associates himself with that party, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years," the ordinance reads.
Report: Zeenext Bureau