–NAB says if Dar should present himself before courts if he’s certain of his innocence
The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has given a clean chit to former finance minister as it rejected Government of Pakistan’s request for issuance of red arrest warrant against him and ordered all its bureaus to delete all files in their systems, a local news outlet reported on Monday.
The former finance minister, who now lives in London, and has been declared an absconder by Pakistan’s courts, had submitted evidence before Interpol, contending he is a victim of mala fide and false report of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted by the Supreme Court (SC) to probe the Panama Papers leaks. He said that the report had charged him with tax evasion whereas he had been constant in paying his taxes during the last 34 years.
He further stated that the JIT report had concealed the fact that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had cleared him of these charges and had misled the apex court into ordering the filing of a reference pertaining to possession of assets beyond known sources of income.
Dar stated that he was being subjected to political victimsation by the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and this is why the Interior Ministry had requested the issuance of his red arrest warrant.
After carefully evaluating the evidence, the Interpol issued him a certificate, confirming that he is not subject to any red notice. Moreover the 109th session of the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s files, decided to remove all data related to him in its own systems and the systems which have access to Interpol’s files.
“After a thorough examination of the elements before it, the Commission found that the data challenged raised questions as to compliance with applicable rules. As a result, it considered that the retention of these data in the Interpol Information System was not compliant with Interpol’s rules and decided that they should be deleted. This decision was forwarded to the Interpol General Secretariat which deleted the data challenged from Interpol’s files,” the notification stated.
It further stated that “all international police cooperation via Interpol’s channels in this case would not be in conformity with Interpol’s Constitution and Rules”.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Monday night, NAB said that Interpol does not have the right to declare anyone innocent and the government would exercise other options to bring Ishaq Dar back.
“Dar has been declared an absconder because of the way he has been ignoring the courts in Pakistan. If he is certain of his innocence, he should present himself before the law,” the statement added.