Panama case decision: Ishaq Dar in serious trouble


ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan has given the final verdict on the Panama Papers case issue. While PM Nawsz Sharif is celebrating victory over the decision, the worst effected of the decision is Mr Ishaq Dar in case of reopening of Hidaybiya Mills case.

Supreme Court has directed National Accountability Bureau to proceed against finance minister in Hudabiya Papers Mills case, in which Ishaq Dar had been accused of laundering money.

“The National Accountability Bureau is directed to proceed against Muhammad Ishaq Dar in connection with (Hudabiya) Reference wherein the respondent (Dar) was not an accused person when the reference was quashed by the Lahore High Court”, according to minority judgment of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed.

The minority judges’ observations in the case has brought the 26-year old case back to the limelight, which was also one of the main points pleaded by the petitioners for the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

However, Ali Zafar, former President Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan said that the minority judgment remains academic in nature and has no legal binding. Yet, the observations made in the minority judgment can be used for discussion purposes.

In Hudabiya Papers Mills case, Ishaq Dar had made a confessional statement disclosing details of money laundering to the tune of $14.9 million on part of Nawaz Sharif and his family. 

However, later on, Dar claimed that the confessional statement had been taken by using force against him.

Dar’s lawyer had submitted before the apex court that it would be unjust and unfair to reopen the matter after a lapse of more than 16 years when the Lahore High Court had quashed the case.

In the Panamagate verdict Dar has been called as a “Samdhi” of respondent No. 1 (Nawaz Sharif) five times. His name also appeared as Respondent No 10 in the verdict for 30 times.

The minority judgment noted that in the last two and a half decades there had been a constant murmur nationally as well internationally about Nawaz indulging in corruption, corrupt practices and money laundering with the active assistance and involvement of Ishaq Dar

The two judges further observed that some specified properties in London, United Kingdom had been identified as having been acquired by Nawaz Sharif through ill-gotten or laundered money.

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