ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday was informed that a requested has been made to the UK Central Authority by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar’s extradition and that a response is awaited.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case pertaining to owning assets approximately valued at Rs831.7 million, disproportionate to his known sources of income.
As the hearing went underway, the top judge wondered if any “practical work” has been done to repatriate Dar who left the country in 2017 and has not returned since despite multiple orders by the apex court.
“Why haven’t any funds been recovered from Ishaq Dar, Fawad Hassan Fawad and Ataul Haq Qasmi?” the top judge questioned, adding that funds also had to be recovered from PML-N’s Pervaiz Rasheed.
The principal information officer apprised the court that a “two-month deadline lapsed yesterday so notices for recovery will be sent today.”
Justice Ijazul Ahsan recalled that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had to write a letter to the British government for Dar’s extradition.
“I don’t think that the Foreign Office has played any role on this issue,” the chief justice interjected.
At this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ representative told the court that the FO had already written to the UK Central Authority.
“Now their reply is awaited,” the representative added.
The chief justice reemphasised his disappointment at Dar’s failure to appear before the court before adjourning the case for a month.
A reference against the former finance minister was filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.
In its reference, NAB had alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million”.
The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”.
Dar, a former senator, has been in London since October 2017 on account of his medical treatment. Moreover, 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.