ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Thursday resumes hearing into graft reference filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar despite his absence, Aaj News reported.
Citing Dar’s health as a reason, his junior counsel Ayesha Hamid, filed an application seeking an exemption for her client to appear before the court. To add credibility to application, Dar’s counsel presented medical report issued by a private hospital in London.
According to the reports, finance minister is severely ill with an acute chest pain and doctors recommended him to undergo angiography.
In last hearing the court issued bailable arrest warrant for Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar as he failed to appear before the court for the hearing of references case
The application cited that, Dar fell ill immediately after attending a conference in Tajikistan and subsequently had to be taken to London for medical treatment.
However, Judge Mohammad Bashir dismissed Dar’s application and issued bailable arrest warrants for Dar.
The court has ordered Haris to assure finance minister’s appearance on the next hearing on November 2, adding that, Dar’s bail will be sacked if he failed to appear in the next hearing.
On 27 September 2017, Judge Muhammad Bashir read out the charges put up against Dar and indicted Dar. Dar on the other hand has rejected the charges put up against him and decided to contest them.
Dar was credited with steering Pakistan’s economy to a sounder footing following a 2013 balance of payments crisis but over the past year those economic gains have begun to erode, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and analysts.
Growth in the $300 billion economy hit 5.3 percent last fiscal year (July-June), the fastest pace in a decade, but foreign currency reserves have dwindled and the 2016/17 current account deficit has more than doubled to $12.1 billion.
Dar’s reluctance to let the rupee weaken to ease current account pressures has courted criticism from economists, who say the PML-N is making economic decisions with one eye on the next general election, likely to be held in mid-2018.
Some analysts have warned Pakistan may need to go back to the IMF for another bailout package if current trends continue.
Under new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Dar has been removed from the post of chairing the cabinet’s powerful Economic Coordination Committee.