Ishaq Dar finally appears before court in NAB assets case

Minister tells court couldn't appear before as PTI govt cancelled passport, ordered embassies to not issue new one


Our Correspondent September 28, 2022
PML-N senior leader Ishaq Dar speaks to media outside an accountability court in Islamabad on Sept 28, 2022. Photo: APP

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar appeared before an accountability court on Wednesday in the assets reference, right after taking oath of office as federal minister.

Explaining his reason to not have appeared before the court all these years, Dar told the court that his passport was cancelled by the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, and all embassies had also been instructed to not issue a new passport to him.

“In spite of my poor health, I still wanted to return and now that I have been issued a passport, I have come back,” Dar told Judge Muhammad Bashir.

During the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was issued a notice on Dar's plea seeking cancellation of the arrest warrant against him.

Read Ishaq Dar sworn in as new finance minister

The federal minister has been summoned before the court on October 7 now, where the warrant cancellation plea in the assets case will be heard.

'PTI to blame for economic crisis'

Speaking to the media following his court appearance, the federal minister claimed that the case against him was ‘false'.

“I have always submitted tax returns on time. The worst criminals are roaming free while the innocent have to bear the torment,” he said.

Criticising former premier Imran Khan, Dar said that not a day was spared for making far-fetched statements during his tenure.

Regarding the country’s economic downturn, Dar against pointed his fingers at the PTI and said: “Imran Khan’s government did to the country's economy what even its enemies would not be able to do.”

He said the previous government deviated from international agreements for their own political mileage.

Furthermore, he stated that political dramas such as the Panama case and others also massively dented Pakistan’s stability.

"[There is] a politician who knows nothing beyond being arrogant and doing negative politics," Dar said, adding that he has been brought back to serve the country for the fourth time and "I cannot thank the Almighty enough for my return”.

Read more NAB barred from arresting Dar on arrival as court suspends warrant

Heaping praise on his party, Dar said, “The PML-N will leave no stone unturned in improving the economic conditions of the country”.

He also lauded former finance minister Miftah Ismail’s efforts for saving the country from default, adding that a course correction after a three-year "mess", created by the PTI, cannot be achieved in mere four months.

Dar, who returned to Pakistan on Monday after spending almost five years in the UK on a ‘medical leave’, was sworn in as senator and the finance minister amid hue and cry raised by PTI lawmakers.

The PML-N leader had left the country in 2017 while standing trial for a corruption reference.

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