Pakistan anti-corruption court issues arrest warrant for Finance Minister Dar

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court issued bailable warrant to arrest Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar as he failed to appear before Accountability Court today (Monday).

Subsequently, the judge reserved the decision on the plea after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor opposed the request and urged the court to issue arrest warrants for the accused to ensure his presence for the hearings. The court also issued notice to his surety giver. However, prosecution witness Abdul Rehman Gondal came to the court carrying two gunny bags filled with documents pertaining to Dar's bank accounts.

The court has directed Ishaq Dar's counsel to carefully examine the bank transaction record so that it may not be needed in future.

It is worth mentioning here that NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had frozen Finance Minister Ishaq Dar's assets, and the report had been submitted in the accountability court during the previous hearing. The judge expressed his resentment on Mr. Dar for not informing the court ahead of the hearing.

On July 28, a five-member Supreme Court bench had ordered NAB to file three references against Sharif and one against Dar, on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insafs Imran Khan, Jamaat-i-Islamis Sirajul Haq and Awami Muslim Leagues Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. He is now scheduled to appear before the court on Friday.

Interestingly, Nawaz was also in Jeddah over the weekend and is now in London to chair a high-level party huddle which will be attended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Nawaz's brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, among other government and party officials.

Dar's counsel is expected to plead the court to dismiss NAB's request. The court had indicted Dar last month in the case for owning assets "beyond his known sources of income".

NAB, in its application, informed the court of serious apprehensions that the accused, his dependents/benamidars might dispose of, alienate, sell, create charge or change the status of the properties/investments.

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