ISLAMABAD: The accountability court (AC) has today (Tuesday) resumed hearing of the assets beyond income reference against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar filed by the anti-graft watchdog National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Dar, who has been charged with amassing wealth beyond his known sources of income, has missed three weeks of court hearings conducted by the anti-graft agency the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
In the last hearing, the anti-corruption court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar after the veteran politician failed to turn up for several court hearings.
Judge Mohammad Bashir issued the warrant on the grounds of “continued absence” from the court.
Dar, who has pleaded not guilty, is receiving medical treatment in London and now faces arrest upon his return to Pakistan.
The charges against Dar followed an investigation into the finances of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him for not declaring salary from his son’s off-shore company.
The finance minister is one of Sharif’s closest political allies and Dar’s son has married Sharif’s daughter. Both men deny any wrongdoing.
Dar has rejected growing calls to resign amid his legal woes and a worsening economic outlook for Pakistan, which is battling to stave off a balance of payments crisis due to dwindling foreign currency reserve and a widening current account deficit.
Dar was initially lauded for steering Pakistan out of a balance of payments crisis in 2013 and returning the nuclear-armed country towards a higher growth trajectory.
But over the past year, he has faced criticism for his refusal to allow the rupee to weaken to ease macroeconomic pressures. He has also been accused of eroding the central bank’s independence.