Pakistan SC suspends former Finance Minister’s Senate membership

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the Senate membership of former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar after he failed to appear before it on a petition contesting his election to the Upper House.

The apex court had summoned Dar, who has been in London since October 2017 and was declared an absconder by an accountability court in a corruption reference, on May 8 in a petition challenging his election to the Senate, Dawn online reported.

The court order came while hearing the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Nawazish Ali Pirzada — who had received 12 votes as a Senate candidate on a seat reserved for technocrats from Punjab against Dar’s 155.

Dar’s lawyer informed the court that he was unwell and unable to appear before the court. However, Justice Ijazul Ahsan rejected the former minister’s medical report, saying: “Whenever we talk about his court appearance he becomes ill but looks good on TV.”

The hearing was adjourned till Eid-ul-Fitr after Chief Justice Saqib Nisar announced that he was going abroad for two weeks.

According to the medical report submitted in the court on Monday, Dar has been suffering from left arm and chest pains resulting from a spinal issue in his neck and may require surgery if his condition does not improve within a month.

The report issued by the London Neurosurgery Partnership and dated April 26, also stated that Dar has also had cardiac issues and had to undergo an emergency stent implant in the past.

Former Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani and Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq expressed their reservations at the court’s decision to suspend Dar’s Senate membership.

Haq said he was “astonished that the apex court had taken the decision despite being provided with medical reports”.


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