The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday requested the Ministry of Interior that it include the name of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on its Exit Control List (ECL).
The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by the NAB Chairman, retired Justice Javed Iqbal, a statement issued by the NAB spokesperson read.
An accountability court on Tuesday had issued non-bailable warrants for Dar over his continuous absence from proceedings in a corruption reference pending against him.
The noose had seemed to be tightening further around the incumbent finance minister after NAB decided to reopen the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibya Paper Mills reference against him on Wednesday.
The Hudaibya reference will be the second ‘mega-corruption’ case against Dar being investigated by NAB, after the reference filed against him in the wake of the Panama Papers case judgement.
The reopening of the case was recommended by the joint investigation team formed by the apex court to probe the Panama Papers allegations against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
“To meet [a] legal requirement in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision, NAB is reopening its investigation into the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference,” said an official press release issued by NAB.
“Ishaq Dar became an approver in the Hudaibya Papar Mills reference and after the quashment of that reference, a fresh investigation is being initiated against Ishaq Dar as an accused,” it said.
On Tuesday, Dar’s counsel, Qusain Faisal Mufti, had told the accountability court that during his client’s angiography it was discovered that one of the blood vessels leading to his heart had ruptured, and offered that the court try him via video link.
Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir, however, dismissed Dar’s application and directed his guarantors to ensure the finance minister’s presence at the next hearing on Nov 21, or else face confiscation of his bail bonds.