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Ishaq Dar rejected allegations publicised by media

10 July, 2017

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KARACHI: The spokesperson for the Finance Ministry, who usually conveys policy statements from the government on matters of national import, on Sunday issued a statement of a slightly personal nature; a rebuttal from the finance minister.

Quoting Ishaq Dar, the ministry released a statement in Islamabad, saying he “vehemently rejects and strongly rebuts all the allegations publicised by a section of media against him over the past few days”.

The communique contained four points, refuting rumours and allegations levelled against Mr Dar, which the minister termed “false, malicious, obnoxious and mala fide”.

Calling the claims “utter rubbish and malicious disinformation, intended to cause harm and damage to the senator’s personal and professional reputation”, the finance ministry spokesperson said that “appropriate [action was] being taken against the responsible persons/parties, with respect to all of the... allegations”.

Firstly, he denied “that during the appearance before the joint investigation team (JIT) for the Panama [Papers] case, Senator Ishaq Dar told the JIT that not only is he willing to act as witness in the case against the prime minister’s family, he is even willing to give any required statement against the prime minister’s family”.

“He also questioned how any mediaperson can claim to be aware of the discussions held during the proceedings of the JIT, including the statements made by persons summoned by the JIT,” the statement quoted Mr Dar as saying.

The minister also denied the allegations that he was “seeking citizenship of the United States of America for himself and his family”, or that he had “secretly married a member of the National Assembly”.

The statement said that “all the false and baseless allegations against Senator Dar had only been made and publicised by a section of the media over the past few days, following the press talk given by Senator Dar on Monday July 3, 2017 outside the Federal Judicial Academy, in which he revealed certain facts regarding Imran Khan”.

On that day, the finance minister had devoted a considerable portion of his remarks to criticism of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief, claiming that Imran Khan was prone to gambling.

He also referred to Mr Khan’s ex-wife Jemima as a “Jewish beauty” and accused the former cricketer of marrying in secret. Without naming Tyrian White, Mr Dar had said: “If you drag our children into politics, we will reciprocate.”

The claim regarding Mr Dar’s alleged marriage to a National Assembly legislator was first put forward by a talk show host on a private channel, and then circulated widely on social media as well as in the form of memes and videos.

Finally, the statement refuted the claim that the token tax of a “Mercedes Benz vehicle Reg. No. MV-109, registered in the name of Senator Ishaq Dar, has never been paid since it was purchased in 2008”.

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