NAB to respond to UK Home Office's questions on Dar's return

Published November 14, 2018
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who is facing a corruption reference for owning assets beyond known sources of income, first failed to appear in court citing ill health last October. ─ AP/File
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who is facing a corruption reference for owning assets beyond known sources of income, first failed to appear in court citing ill health last October. ─ AP/File

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to respond to a questionnaire prepared by the United Kingdom's Home Office regarding the return of former minister Ishaq Dar to the country.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a case related to Dar's non-appearance before the apex court in a corruption case pertaining to owning assets approximately valued at Rs831.7 million, disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Dar was declared an absconder by the court last year when he failed to appear since he was in London, allegedly undergoing medical treatment. His absence was first attributed to ill health on Oct 30, 2017.

The additional attorney general told the bench today that the UK Home Office had sent some questions regarding Dar's return to the country, and these questions had been forwarded to NAB.

"They will submit their response to the UK Home Office," the additional attorney general added.

The CJP observed that Dar "can no longer use his illness as an excuse [to stay abroad]".

"He would say that when justice will prevail, only then will he return to the country," the top judge added.

The court ordered NAB to respond to the Home Office's questionnaire and to submit a report on the matter within a month.

The case was subsequently adjourned for a month.

'Assets beyond known income'

The noose began to tighten around the former finance minister after NAB decided to reopen the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference against him last year.

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 Panamagate 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.

On July 28, a five-member Supreme Court bench had ordered NAB to file three references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and one against Dar, on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Imran Khan, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Sirajul Haq and Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

In its reference against the finance minister, NAB has alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx)”.

The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”.

Opinion

Editorial

Debt deferment
Updated 26 Sep, 2022

Debt deferment

Pakistan’s dollar funding needs for next 5 years have never been so large and world’s appetite to hold its hands never so poor.
Dengue concerns
26 Sep, 2022

Dengue concerns

AS weather conditions change in Pakistan, the threat of dengue looms large over the land. According to a warning...
Relic of colonialism
26 Sep, 2022

Relic of colonialism

THE law on sedition, one of several holdovers of colonial times, is among the most handy instruments for controlling...
UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
Updated 25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

Dar will now be expected by his party to conjure up fiscal space for the govt to start spending ahead of the next elections.
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...