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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked government departments concerned to find a way of getting former finance minister Ishaq Dar extradited so that he can be produced in court. The court has already suspended the notification declaring Mr Dar a senator-elect over his failure to appear before it despite repeated summons. He is required to appear in person before the court.

The directives were issued by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar during the hearing of a case related to non-appearance of Mr Dar before the apex court.

The chief justice regretted that the court was finding it difficult to summon an absconder.

The secretaries of foreign office and interior as well as the prosecutor general (PG) of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) were ordered to inform the court on Tuesday about ways on how to bring back Mr Dar from abroad.

Apex court warns former finance minister of ex parte proceedings if he continues to skip case hearings

NAB PG Syed Asghar Haider however assured the court that he would find a way after consulting the interior ministry.

“Ishaq Dar is an absconder who is roaming freely around in London but never takes the trouble to return to Pakistan to submit himself before the court of law despite repeated directions,” regretted the chief justice.

He said that the former finance minister had to be brought to the country at any cost.

The court warned that it would proceed ex parte against Mr Dar if he failed to appear before the court the consequences of which would have to be faced by him.

Additional Attorney General Nayyar Abbas Rizvi told the court that the government was taking steps to bring Mr Dar back home for which contacts had been established with Interpol for the issuance of red warrants. “But the matter is still pending with Interpol,” he said. “Usually it takes two to three months to get a person extradited.”

The court wondered if Mr Dar could still live in the United Kingdom if his passport was cancelled because then he might be deported from the UK.

The AAG said that he might still be able to live in the UK by seeking political asylum on which the court responded, “Let Dar tell UK authorities that the Pakistani judiciary is doing injustice to him.”

The court asked what measures the new government was taking to bring Mr Dar back and when he would be brought to Pakistan.

The court said that Mr Dar faced no threat in the country.

The Supreme Court is also seized with a petition of Muhammad Nawazish Ali Pirzada who has challenged the Lahore High Court order to allow Mr Dar to contest the March 12 Senate elections.

On Dec 11, 2017 the accountability court had declared Mr Dar an absconder in a corruption reference after he failed to join the trial against him.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018