ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar approached the accountability court on Monday, seeking his acquittal, unfreezing of assets and permanent exemption from personal attendance in proceedings on the assets beyond means reference.
The request was made through three applications filed by Senator Dar and the court allowed the plea in which the minister sought exemption from personal appearance.
As regards his other applications, the judge issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau, asking the anti-graft watchdog to submit its reply till Nov 16.
Mr Dar, accompanied by local PML-N leader Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, was present in the court.
NAB issued notices on pleas seeking acquittal, unfreezing of assets
After a brief hearing, the court accepted the minister’s request for exemption from personal attendance.
On Dec 11, 2017, the accountability court declared Mr Dar a proclaimed offender. However, it recalled the said order on Sept 28 this year when he surrendered to the court.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had, on July 28, 2017, while taking up petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, disqualified then prime minister Nawaz Sharif for not disclosing his salary that he did not draw from his son’s company.
The apex court constituted a joint investigation team, headed by then additional director general of Federal Investigation Agency Wajid Zia, to probe assets of the Sharif family and Mr Dar.
The JIT prepared four references — three against the Sharif family and one against Mr Dar — and filed them in the accountability court.
As per prosecution, Mr Dar’s assets had grown manifold from Rs9.1 million in 1982-83 to Rs831.6m in 2008.
As Mr Dar had not appeared before the court since 2017, he was declared a proclaimed offender and his bank accounts and other properties were seized.
The NAB also seized all his movable and immovable assets.
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2022