ISLAMABAD: Ishaq Dar’s net wealth increased over 9,000 per cent between 1993 and 2009, according to a prosecution witness for National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in its accountability court case against the former finance minister.
Inland Revenue Service (IRS) Lahore Commissioner Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan informed the accountability court conducting Dar’s trial in absentia on charges of amassing assets beyond his known sources of income that in 16 years, Dar’s wealth increased 91-fold. In June 1993, he said Dar’s total wealth was Rs9.1 million, and records show that this went up to more than Rs830 million by 2009. He added that this included Dar’s overseas assets, which he did not disclose in his earlier wealth statements.
The witness produced before the court Dar’s income tax and wealth tax returns from 1986 till 2016. He also submitted Dar’s wealth statements from 1979 to date. Judge Muhammad Bashir directed him to ensure safe custody of the records.
Apart from Khan, five more prosecution witnesses – Iqbal Hassan, Umar Draz Gondal, Shakeel Anjum Nagra and Zavar Manzoor of NAB and Punjab Industries, Price, Weights and Measures District Officer Muhammad Azhar Hussain, recorded statements before the court. One witness, Adeel Akhtar, could not appear before the court due to a health issue.
Hassan submitted that banking analyst Zafar Iqbal Mufti submitted a four-page credit Inflows report pertaining to Dar’s bank accounts in his presence on August 31, 2017.
Gondal said he went to Dar’s residence at Gulberg in Lahore to deliver call-up notices issued by NAB. Manzoor said he was a signatory of the 32 seizure memos of this case as a witness.
Hussain told the court that he provided NAB with the photocopies of the CNICs of the directors of Ali Hajveri Organ Transplant Trust. He also provided NAB with the registration fee receipt of the trust, its memorandum of articles of association, and the names of its directors.
The court is recording evidence under section 512 of the Criminal Procedure Code in the absence of the accused person.
In the reference, NAB has alleged that Dar has acquired assets and pecuniary interests and resources in his own name and in the names of his dependents totalling approximately Rs831.678 million.
The reference alleges that the assets were disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Following the hearing, the court directed NAB to produce more witnesses on Jan 30 (today).
Two witnesses from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Joint Registrar Sidra Mansoor and Deputy Registrar Salman Saeed, will appear on Jan 30.
On Dec 20, 2017, the Islamabad High Court had restrained the accountability court from proceeding further against Dar till January 17, observing that several questions of law needed consideration.
On Jan 17, however, the IHC dismissed Dar’s petition and vacated the stay over proceedings.