News Analysis |
On Wednesday, The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) moved to freeze all moveable and immovable properties of federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in connection with the probe into the accumulation of assets beyond his known sources of income.
According to a notification, Dar, “or any of his relatives and associates, or any other person on his behalf shall not transfer any property owned by [Dar] or in his possession”. Also, an accountability court issued an arrest warrant for Dar with a bail of Rs1 million for his failure to appear before it in a reference filed by NAB.
Sharif family and was often seen flanking Nawaz Sharif in many press conferences aside from being the opposition leader in the Senate from March 2012 to May 2013
Judge Muhammad Bashir of the Accountability Court issued the warrant and set bail conditions to ensure the minister’s appearance in court on September 25. The court had summoned Dar to appear on September 20. In the reference against Dar, NAB said it had yet to determine the role of the president of the National Bank of Pakistan and others in “aiding and abetting” the finance minister.
In the reference, NAB alleged that Dar’s assets are disproportionate to his known sources of income. The accountability court will resume proceedings in the reference against Dar on September 25, while the reference against the Sharif family would be taken up on September 26.
After assuming the office of Prime Minister, Abbasi divided the Finance Ministry into separate entities thus minimizing the role of Dar in the federal government affairs
There are several rumors concerning these developments among which a NAB raid and Dar’s resignation is most prominent. According to sources, a team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore has raided Dar’s residence in Islamabad but failed to arrest him as he was not at home. NAB officials questioned servants present at the residence and told them they had warrants for the minister. They also made sure that Dar was not present at home.
However, a spokesman for NAB denied reports of a raid on Dar’s residence. “The team only went to Ishaq Dar’s residence to deliver court notice,” the spokesman said, adding that it acted in accordance with the law.
Read more: Love letter to Ishaq Dar from a fan
Similarly, media reports are circulating which assert that Ishaq Dar has decided to resign from his current position of Finance Minister. Dar was re-appointed as the Minister for Finance for the fourth time after his disqualification on 28 July 2017 by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to hold the office of Ministry of Finance after then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also disqualified by the court following Panama Papers case decision.
Dar was re-appointed as the Minister for Finance for the fourth time after his disqualification on 28 July 2017 by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to hold the office of Ministry of Finance
On the same day, he had ceased to hold ministerial office when the federal cabinet was disbanded after Nawaz Sharif resigned as Prime Minister. Following the election of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as new Prime Minister in early August 2017, Dar was inducted into the federal cabinet of Abbasi despite his disqualification and an investigation was ordered against him by the Supreme Court.
After assuming the office of Prime Minister Abbasi divided the Finance Ministry into separate entities thus minimizing the role of Dar in the federal government affairs. On 11 August 2017, he was removed as chairman of Economic Coordination Committee by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. On 20 August 2017, he was removed from the chairmanship of some 35 National Assembly committees by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
While Dar’s resignation has to materialize, the members of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance have sought his resignation on Thursday. These calls came on the heels of the seizing of his assets and bank accounts.
The accountability court will resume proceedings in the reference against Dar on September 25, while the reference against the Sharif family would be taken up on September 26
Dar has long seen as a loyalist of the Sharif family. Relations between the two extend back to the time Dar worked as a clerk in the Ittefaq Group owned by the Sharif family. These ties were bolstered in 2004 when Dar’s eldest son married Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Asma Nawaz in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Dar was considered a part of the “Lahori” group within the PML-N that rose to power at the expense of Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan. He was long considered as the financial mastermind of the Sharif family and was often seen flanking Nawaz Sharif in many press conferences aside from being the opposition leader in the Senate from March 2012 to May 2013.
However as things took a turn for the worst for Nawaz Sharif, it seems only logical that Dar would be caught up in the blowback. The woes of Ishaq Dar signify that the structure of power set up by Nawaz Sharif is crumbling.