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Ishaq Dar appeared before NAB

25 September, 2017

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Finance Minister Ishaq Dar appeared before an accountability court on Monday to submit surety bonds worth Rs1 million to secure his bail. Earlier this month, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had issued a bailable arrest warrant against the finance minister, after he failed to comply with a summon issued earlier by the same court.

The court will now hear the case on September 27.

NAB also seized the bank accounts and properties of Dar as the court initiated proceedings against him in a corruption reference.

The court had warned that non-bailable arrest warrants will be issued on Sep 25, if Dar fails to appear before the court.

The reference filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the directives of the apex court against Ishaq Dar is related to possession of assets beyond his known sources of income.

The Lahore NAB wrote to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), reminding the banking regulator that since a reference was pending against Dar, “the bank accounts of Mr Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister, may be cautioned”.

The bureau, however, left room for transactions from these accounts, as NAB had made them subject to the orders of the accountability court.

NAB has also written to district governments, asking them to stop any transfer or disposal of the properties owned by Dar, warning that in case of non-compliance, they could face up to three years in prison under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.

In addition, a NAB team visited the minister’s residence in the capital on Wednesday to execute his arrest warrants. “Since Dar is already abroad, the officials handed over the warrants along with the court summons to his staff,” said a statement from the bureau.

During the earlier hearing, Dar's protocol officer Fazal Dad had appeared on behalf of the minister and apprised the court that Dar was unable to appear before the court due to his personal engagements as the minister was out of the country. The protocol officer, however, was unaware of the date of Dar's return.

On this, NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar appealed the court to issue arrest warrants of the accused.

Subsequently, the judge of the accountability court Mohammad Bashir issued a bailable arrest warrant for Dar, directing the authorities to arrest and produce the minister on September 25.

On Sept 8, NAB had filed a reference against Dar, and three separate references against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children.

Directions to file the references came from the Supreme Court in its July 28 verdict, on the basis of an investigation report prepared by a Joint Investi­ga­tion Team (JIT) consisting of officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, NAB, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the SBP.

On Sept 12, the apex court took up review petitions against the July 28 judgement and dismissed the petitions within four days. On Sept 19, Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir re-issued summons for Mr Sharif and his family members since none of them, including Hussain Nawaz, Hassan Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and her husband retired Captain Safdar, had shown up in court.

The JIT had pointed out an exorbitant increase in Dar's assets from 2008 to 2009. NAB authorities summoned Dar but he failed to appear, arguing that NAB could not summon him following his petition against the Panama case verdict, since the decision under which the bureau was investigating was under review.

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