Pakistan’s embattled Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was declared a proclaimed absconder by an accountability court after he repeatedly failed to appear before it in a corruption case linked to the Panama Papers scandal.
Declaring Dar an absconder, Accountability Court Judge Justice Muhammad Bashir ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to initiate proceedings against the 67-year-old minister and submit a report within 10 days.
Dar’s lawyer said the minister is in London for medical treatment.
The judge also rejected an application by Dar’s lawyer to grant him exemption from personal appearance in a case filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Dar is accused of amassing assets of an approximate value of Rs 831.7 million — disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The NAB’s investigating officer Nadir Abbass told the court that a team from the anti-corruption agency had visited the minister’s residence in Lahore and Islamabad after non- bailable arrest warrants were issued against him.
However, Dar was not found at either one of his residential addresses, Abbass said.
The investigating officer claimed that the minister is in London to save himself from the court’s action.
A show-cause notice was issued to Dar’s guarantor, who was asked to submit a reply before the court by November 24 regarding the minister’s absence from court.