Accountability court issues permanent arrest warrant for Ishaq Dar

NAB court says decision on co-accused’s acquittal to be made on Dar’s arrest

An Islamabad accountability court on Wednesday issued a permanent arrest warrant for ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar in a corruption reference.

The National Accountability Bureau filed the reference against Dar, who has been affirmed as an absconder in the case. He has failed to appear in hearings because of his prolonged stay in London. NAB alleges that the former finance minister had assimilated assets beyond his declared sources of income.

The court also made conditional the delivery of a ruling on petitions asking for the acquittal of co-accused on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader’s arrest. These include former National Bank of Punjab president Saeed Ahmed, Mansoor Raza Rizvi, and Naeem Mehmood, who were directors of Ishaq Dar’s Hajveri Moda­raba.

The co-accused had filed pleas for their acquittal and challenged the reference under the NAB amendment ordinance.

At today’s hearing, NAB prosecutor Afzal Qureshi and counsel for the co-accused appeared before the court. Judge Muhammad Bashir chaired over the proceedings.

The judge ruled that the reference’s proceedings could not move forward until Dar was arrested and produced before the court. He added that the decision on the co-accused’s acquittal would only be issued after that. The court then adjourned the hearing until Dar was arrested.