News Analysis |
The accountability court on Monday has reserved its verdict on the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea to auction former Finance minister Ishaq Dar’s assets in Pakistan. Judge Mohammad Bashir heard the final arguments from the NAB’s prosecutor Imran Shafique and afterward reserved the verdict on the plea against the absconder Dar.
In spite of the repeated requests from the court, the former Finance Minister and the senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) failed to return to Pakistan to show up in corruption cases filed against him in line with the Panama Papers verdict. Dar had gone to London for medical treatment and continued to abscond in corruption reference against him.
In the Supreme Court’s July 28 Panama case verdict, the five-member bench had ordered NAB to one-references against Dar.
The former minister, who is termed as the “biggest criminals of the country”, was allowed to get out of the country on a former premier Nawaz Sharif’s plane. Earlier, NAB had submitted the details of Dar’s assets and requested for the auction of movable and immovable properties of the former minister in assets beyond income reference.
NAB’s prosecutor argued that since Dar has not raised reservation within the given time, the honorable court can order the sale of the Dar’s assets. Moreover, Dar would have six months to approach the court after the sale of his assets. Shafiq also requested the special court to issue an order regarding Dar’s assets in Islamabad and Lahore which are beyond the court’s jurisdiction.
Read more: Love letter to Ishaq Dar from a fan
The anti-graft body has already seized all the properties of Dar in the capital which includes a two-Kanal plot in Parliamentarians Enclave, one plot in the Senate Cooperative Housing Society, six acres of land in Islamabad, other plots of two kanals and nine marlas in Islamabad. Furthermore, a house in Lahore, three plots in Al-Falah Housing Society, and six vehicles are also under NAB’s control.
Soon after the NAB triggered the inquiry, Dar landed in the London hospital—where he underwent the cardiac treatment after complaining of chest pains. In the Supreme Court’s July 28 Panama case verdict, the five-member bench had ordered NAB to one-references against Dar. JIT had presented the proofs of discrepancy between his declared sources of income and his actual wealth.
The alleged criminals in Pakistan easily get a let off and are given the protocol at the expense of the state funds, despite under serious corruption charges.
Dar missed the accountability court proceedings citing ill health. For a while, his allegedly deliberate disappearance halted the proceedings and court rejected his applications seeking exemption from the appearance. He continued to present lame excuses and his counsel once told the court that he was unable to walk more than 4 minutes.
The court had earlier issued the red warrants to arrest Dar in London, and Pakistani authorities had approached the UK government over this, however, due to the absence of any formal agreement with the UK, nothing concrete happened in this regard. After the visit of British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, and the announcement of ‘a justice and accountability initiative’ between the two countries, Pakistani authorities are increasingly hopeful of Dar’s arrest.
Read more: Has Sharif family abandoned Ishaq Dar?
Over the years, the powerful elite and cronies have pushed themselves above the law. They use the political power and force the institutions for compromising their doctrines to avoid justice. Since the Apex court had clearly defined the parameters and directed the accountability court to conclude the case within a stipulated time under the supervision of Supreme Court Judge, Dar has allegedly obstructed the court proceedings.
Different institutions such as FIA, FBR, and Police facilitate the mighty and powerful of the country. A former dictator Musharraf was ‘advised’ by the doctors to travel abroad for treatment as Pakistani doctors could not deal with his illness. His name was removed from the Exit Control List in the direction of the court, and the federal government allowed him to leave the country.
Similarly, a number of politicians have made the mockery of the system. The alleged criminals in Pakistan easily get a let off and are given the protocol at the expense of the state funds, despite under serious corruption charges. After the change in the political horizon of the country, the accountability of power still remains doubtful, especially after the bail of Nawaz in IHC.