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SC directs NAB to respond to UK’s questionnaire on Dar’s return

SC directs NAB to respond to UK’s questionnaire on Dar’s return

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to respond to a questionnaire prepared by the United Kingdom’s Home Office regarding the return of former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a case over Dar’s no-show in a corruption case pertaining to owning assets beyond known sources of income.

Last year, Dar was declared an absconder by the court after he failed to appear. His absence was first attributed to poor health on Oct 30, 2017.

The additional attorney general told the bench that the UK Home Office had sent some questions regarding Dar’s return to the country and these questions had been forwarded to NAB. “They will submit their response to the UK Home Office,” the additional attorney general added.

The CJP observed that Dar “can no longer use his illness as an excuse [to stay abroad]”. The court ordered NAB to respond to the Home Office’s questionnaire and to submit a report on the matter within a month. Later, the hearing adjourned for a month.

On July 28, a five-member Supreme Court bench had ordered the anti-corruption watchdog to file three references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and one against Dar on the petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Imran Khan, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Sirajul Haq and Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. In its reference against the finance minister, NAB alleged that “the accused had acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs 831.678 million approximately”.