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September 7, 2018

10 days for NAB to bring Dar back: SC

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September 7, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, on Thursday issued orders to ensure the return of absconding former finance minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar to Pakistan within 10 days.

Dar has been in London since October last year on account of his ‘medical treatment’ and has been declared an absconder in a corruption case against him. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court resumed hearing of the case pertaining to a summons issued to Dar, Geo reports.

Interior secretary, foreign secretary, DG NAB and other related officials were present in the court. "Where are the NAB officials? What has the NAB done till now to bring back Dar?" inquired the chief justice.

The top judge then issued directives for taking measures, which would ensure the absconder's return to Pakistan within 10 days. The chief justice asked if Dar could continue to live in Britain if his passport was cancelled.

The additional attorney general apprised the court that in that case the absconder could take asylum there. "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 most upset at the fact that Dar has repeatedly ignored summons," Justice Nisar said. The top judge further inquired about the measures taken by the current government to bring Dar back.

Responding to Justice Nisar's query, the additional attorney general informed the court that the NAB has declared Dar an absconder. "The NAB has also referred the matter to the Interpol," he said. A NAB officer told the court that the Bureau had already written a letter to the Ministry of Interior for issuance of red warrant.

"The man is roaming about the streets of London but unwilling to come back home but when the court summons him, he cites his ailment as the reason for failing to return (to Pakistan)," the CJP remarked.

"The former finance minister is unwilling to act upon the court's orders," Justice Nisar said. The additional attorney general then furnished a report with the court on cancellation of the passport.

The chief justice adjourned the hearing till September 11. The former finance minister is accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income. A reference against him was filed by the NAB in the 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.

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