The Accountability Court here hearing a corruption reference against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday issued bailable warrants of arrest after he failed to appear in court.
Dar had been summoned to appear in court on Wednesday in connection with a reference by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for possessing assets beyond declared sources of income. The reference had been ordered by the Supreme Court in its July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case.
As the hearing began in Judge Mohammad Bashir’s court, Dar’s protocol officer Fazal Dad appeared in court and informed the judge that the minister is presently in London.
The NAB prosecutor pleaded the court to issue arrest warrants to ensure Dar’s presence in court. On this, the court gave the directions of ordering bailable warrants of arrest for the finance minister.
The court ordered for submission of the bail bond of Rs1 million and adjourned the hearing until September 25, ordering Dar to be present in court at the next hearing. Dar was also directed to nominate someone who would serve as a bail bondsperson.
Sources within NAB informed that summons for Dar was sent to his residence in Islamabad and his personal address in Lahore.
NAB officials also informed the court that the minister’s summons was received by his driver, whereas his staff officer informed authorities that the minister’s seat on the flight back was confirmed but he could not make due to some commitments.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has denied media reports that the Bureau has written letter to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) asking for freezing Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s assets. Meanwhile, a team of Lahore branch of the NABraided Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s house and questioned employees there, on Wednesday.
The officials reportedly went to Dar’s house in Ministers Enclave, Islamabad and questioned employees while telling them that they had an arrest warrant for the federal minister.