In a corruption case, an accountability court in Islamabad issued a perpetual arrest order for former finance minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the reference against Dar, who has been considered an absconder in the case due to his extended stay in London, stating that the former minister had accumulated assets outside of his known sources of income.
The court also made the issuance of a verdict on the pleas of former NBP president Saeed Ahmed, Mansoor Raza Rizvi, and Naeem Mehmood, who were directors of Ishaq Dar’s Hajveri Modaraba, conditional on the arrest of the PML-N leader.
The co-accused had pleaded guilty and challenged the referral under the NAB amendment law.
Judge Muhammad Bashir presided over today’s hearing, which saw NAB prosecutor Afzal Qureshi and counsel for the co-accused appear before the court.
The judge decided that the reference’s proceedings would not proceed until Dar was apprehended and brought before the court, and that only then would the judgement on the acquittal of the co-accused be made.
The hearing on the reference was therefore postponed until Dar’s arrest.
On petitions filed by PTI chairman Imran Khan, Jamaat-i-Sirajul Islami’s Haq, and the Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a five-member Supreme Court bench ordered the NAB to file three references against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and one against then-Finance Minister Dar on July 28, 2017.
“The accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependants of an approximate sum of Rs831.678 million (approx),” the NAB claimed in its reference against Dar.
The assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not adequately account for,” according to the citation.
Ishaq Dar’s portfolio as finance minister was then withdrawn by the administration.
Dar’s non-bailable arrest warrants were issued by the court on November 14, 2017.
On December 11, 2017, the court proclaimed Ishaq Dar, who has been in London and has not returned, an absconder in the case after the former finance minister had consistently failed to appear in court.