Will return to Pakistan after medical treatment concludes, Dar claims

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Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar gestures during a news conference to announce the economic survey of fiscal year 2016-2017, in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood/Files

LONDON: Former finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Saturday said that he will return to Pakistan as soon as his doctors give the go ahead.

He expressed these views, while visiting Begum Kulsoom Nawaz — who is undergoing cancer treatment in London since August last year — to inquire after her health.

“Pakistan is my country and I will definitely return to it,” he said.

He said that he was presently receiving medical treatment in London and would return back after medical treatment concludes.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Dar is accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income. A reference to him was filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.

He departed for London in October last year for medical treatment, after which he did not attend any court proceedings.

On February 17, the Lahore High Court (LHC) allowed Ishaq Dar to contest the upcoming Senate elections.

An appellate bench of the high court set aside the returning officer’s decision that had rejected his nomination papers for the Senate polls.

The verdict came on an election petition filed by Ishaq Dar through which he challenged the rejection of his nomination papers.

In his petition, Dar submitted through his counsel that the returning officer rejected his nomination papers for the Senate polls despite the fact that he had fulfilled all legal requirements.

He argued that his nomination was rejected without giving him a fair hearing.

Dar’s counsel contended that the returning officer rejected the nomination papers merely on the basis of allegations.

The bench was requested to set aside the returning officer’s decision of rejecting the nomination papers of the former finance minister.

In its reference against the former finance minister, NAB alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx)”.

The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”.

The court has declared him a proclaimed offender over his perpetual absence from the trial proceedings and attached his movable and immovable properties.

In November 2017, the government withdrew the portfolio of finance minister of Dar.

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