- Top court inquires about efforts put in by NAB, govt to bring former finance minister back to Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday issued orders to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to bring back former finance minister Ishaq Dar to Pakistan within 10 days.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) resumed the hearing of a case pertaining to a corruption case against Dar and the summons issued to him during earlier hearings.
CJP Nisar inquired about the efforts put in by NAB and the current government to bring back the former finance minister and issued directives to take measures which would ensure his return to Pakistan within the next 10 days.
He asked if Dar could continue living in Britain if his passport was to be cancelled?
Responding to Justice Nisar, the additional attorney general apprised the court that the absconder could take asylum in UK in case of the cancellation of his passport. “If this is the case then he must take asylum there and cite the reason that Pakistani courts are being unfair,” remarked the chief justice.
“The court is upset at the fact that Dar has repeatedly ignored summons,” Justice Nisar said.
The additional attorney general also informed the apex court that NAB has declared Dar an absconder and has “referred the matter to Interpol”.
A NAB officer, present at the hearing, then stated that the anti-graft bureau had already written a letter to the Ministry of Interior for the issuance of a red warrant.
The former finance minister is accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.
On July 21, the Interior Ministry approved the issuance of red warrants against former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
The red warrant is an international notice sent to the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) seeking the arrest and extradition of an individual.
The sanction came following the recommendation of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has written a letter to Interpol for the detention of Ishaq Dar while the case has also been forwarded to them after the approval of the interior secretary.
FIA has requested the assistance of Interpol in Dar’s arrest from London.
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.
Dar, a former senator, has been in London since October last year on account of his medical treatment. Moreover, a reference against the former finance minister was filed by the NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.
Dar had earlier been declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court due to his continuous absence from the proceedings.
In November 2017, then-prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had accepted Dar’s request to be relieved of his duties as the finance minister.