Bailable arrest warrants issued against Pak Finance Minister

Islamabad: An accountability court has issued bailable arrest warrants against Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar after he failed to appear for a hearing in connection with a corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The court also rejected an application seeking Dar’s exemption from appearance in today’s hearing, the Dawn reported.

The hearing was adjourned until November 2.

According to the Dawn, proceedings in the trial court could not advance due to Dar’s absence, despite prosecution witness Abdul Rehman Gondal, the branch manager of a private bank in the parliament, being present with documents related to the minister’s bank accounts.

Dar’s counsel Khawaja Haris had said in the application that Dar fell ill in Jeddah and subsequently had to go to London for medical treatment after attending the 16th Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe.

He requested the court to exempt Dar from personal appearance in the hearing as he had to undergo a medical check-up in London today.

However, the NAB prosecution opposed the application and the court thereafter issued arrest warrants against the minister and asked him to appear on November 2.

Last week, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had rejected Dar’s second petition challenging his indictment by an accountability court in a corruption case pertaining to the ownership of assets beyond his known sources of income.

The NAB had filed a reference against Dar and three separate references against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his children, earlier this month after the Supreme Court, while disqualifying Sharif, had asked the bureau to file the same on the basis of the material collected and referred to by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). (ANI)