ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has directed the authorities concerned to cooperate with the Ministry of Interior secretary in bringing former finance minister Ishaq Dar back from London.
“Prompt and expeditious assistance be provided not beyond 12 hours. Anybody not cooperating with the interior secretary will be dealt with,” says two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar.
The bench was hearing a case pertaining to the illegal appointment of former Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) managing director Attaul Haq Qasmi.
The bench expressed disappointment over the interior ministry’s failure to ensure Dar’s presence in the court and asked for documents related to Qasmi’s employment and emoluments.
The chief justice said anyone who is absconder should be brought back, adding the government should evolve a uniform mechanism in this regard.
He also stated that Hussain Haqqani and Pervez Musharraf have been declared absconders but they could not be brought back. The chief justice lamented that deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif met Dar in the UK, adding anyone could arrest an absconder.
Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan agreed that the government should evolve a uniform strategy to bring all absconders back in Pakistan. The hearing of the case was adjourned until Saturday.
Meanwhile, the bench has again reserved judgment regarding illegal appointment of Qasmi as PTV chairman. The bench hinted at forwarding the case to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for further investigation.
During the hearing, former finance secretary Waqar Ahmad stated that the ministry had opposed giving a huge package to Qasmi but it was approved on the directive of the Prime Minister Secretariat.
“How is the prime minister entitled to approve this summary?” the CJP questioned.
Counsel for Qasmi, Aysha Hamid stated that her client was unwilling to return Rs270 million, which was given from the public exchequer as part of his salary and other perks and privileges.
Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan requested the court to desist from handing the case to NAB and recommended that a better solution would be to receive compensation from the accused for the losses incurred.
“No cancer in the country is as fatal as corruption,” remarked the chief justice of Pakistan.