ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday directed orders to ensure former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s return to Pakistan within ten days.
Dar, a former senator, has been in London since October last year on account of his medical treatment and has been declared an absconder in the corruption case against him.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court resumed hearing the case pertaining to a summons issued to Dar. The interior secretary, foreign secretary, DG NAB, and other related officials were present in court.
“Where are NAB officials? What has NAB done up till now to bring back Dar?” inquired the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
The top judge then issued directives to take measures which would ensure the absconder’s return to Pakistan in 10 days.
During the hearing, the chief justice asked if Dar could continue living in Britain if his passport were to be cancelled.
Responding to Justice Nisar, the additional attorney general apprised the court that the absconder could take asylum in the said country in case of the cancellation of his passport. “If this is the case then he must take asylum there and cite the reason that Pakistani courts are being unfair,” remarked the chief justice.
“The court is most upset at the fact that Dar has repeatedly ignored summons,” Justice Nisar said.
The top judge further inquired the measures taken by the current government to bring back Dar.
Responding to Justice Nisar’s query, the additional attorney general informed the apex court that NAB has declared Dar an absconder. “NAB has also referred the matter to Interpol,” the lawyer said.
A NAB officer, present at the hearing, then stated that the anti-graft bureau had already written a letter to the Ministry of Interior for the issuance of a red warrant.
“The man is roaming around on the streets of London but unwilling to come back home but when the court summons him. He cites his ailment as the reason of failure to return to Pakistan,” the CJP remarked.
“The former finance minister is unwilling to act upon the court’s orders,” Justice Nisar said.
The additional attorney general then presented a report in the court regarding the cancellation of the passport.
Issuing all relevant departments to consult on the matter, the chief justice adjourned the hearing till September 11.
The former finance minister is accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.
A reference against the former finance minister was filed by the NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.
Dar had earlier been declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court due to his continuous absence from the proceedings.
In November 2017, then-prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had accepted Dar’s request to be relieved of his duties as the finance minister. NNI