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Accountability court orders permanent arrest warrant against Ishaq Dar

The court ordered the warrant after the senior PML-N leader repeatedly failed to show up for the trial, remaining instead in a self-imposed exile in London.

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18 May – Wednesday, an accountability court in Islamabad issued a permanent arrest warrant for the former finance minister of Pakistan and senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League (N), Ishaq Dar.

The court ordered the warrant after the senior PML-N leader repeatedly failed to show up for the trial, remaining instead in a self-imposed exile in London. Dar has remained in London for the past four years, where he is reportedly undergoing medical treatment.

The accused has already been declared an absconder in the case filed against him by the anti-graft body.

The court also listened to acquittal pleas submitted by counsels of the co-accused – former NBP president Saeed Ahmed, Mansoor Raza Rizvi, and Naeem Mehmood, directors of Ishaq Dar’s Hajveri Modaraba.

Read more: Will UK extradite Ishaq Dar?

The session was presided by Judge Muhammad Bashir and the court ruled the decision on the acquittal of the co-accused would only be issued once Dar is arrested and presented before the court.

NAB prosecutor Afzal Qureshi was leading the case for the anti-graft body.

The case

On petitions filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Sirajul Haq, and Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the accountability court on July 28, 2017, ordered the anti-graft body to file three references, one of which was against Dar.

According to the reference, “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 added that Dar’s assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for.”

Read more: Ishaq Dar or Miftah Ismail: Who is going to become Finance Minister to negotiate with IMF?

Shortly after, in November, the court issued non-bailable warrants for the accused.

It is pertinent to mention that Dar left the country despite the fact that he had already been indicted and the court hearings against him were pending. Moreover, Dar did not take permission from the court before leaving the country.