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FO awaits UK govt's response on Dar's extradition, SC told

January 08, 2019

Email

Former finance minister Ishaq Dar left Pakistan in 2017 and has never returned since. — File
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar left Pakistan in 2017 and has never returned since. — File

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that a request has been made to the UK Central Authority regarding absconding PML-N leader Ishaq Dar's extradition and that the ministry now awaits a response.

A three-judge bench headed by the chief justice 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.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar wondered if any "practical work" has been done to repatriate Dar who left the country for the United Kingdom in 2017 and has not returned since despite multiple summons by the apex court.

Read more: The insider: Ishaq Dar

"Why haven't any funds been recovered from Ishaq Dar, Fawad Hassan Fawad and Ataul Haq Qasmi?" the top judge questioned, adding that funds also had to be recovered from PML-N's Pervaiz Rasheed.

The principle information officer apprised the court that a "two-month deadline lapsed yesterday so notices for recovery will be sent today."

Justice Ijazul Ahsan recalled that the National Accountability Bureau had to write a letter to the British government for Dar's extradition.

"I don't think that the Foreign Office has played any role on this issue," the chief justice interjected.

At this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' representative told the court that the Foreign Office had already written to the UK Central Authority. "Now their reply is awaited," the representative added.

The chief justice reiterated his disappointment at Dar's failure to appear before the court before adjourning the case for a month.

Dar, the ex-finance minister in the PML-N government, has been in London since October 2017 owing to what his counsel claims is "a medical issue".

In December 2017, an accountability court had declared him an absconder after he failed to appear in a corruption reference against him. He is accused of amassing assets beyond his known sources of income.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court had suspended his Senate membership, while in June 2018, the interior ministry had issued red warrants against him.