General

Ishaq Dar decides to step down as finance minister

Reports of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s resignation circulated on Saturday morning claiming he had sent his resignation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
However, credible sources inside the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) denied the reports terming them as mere rumours.
A highly credible source told that rumours of Ishaq Dar’s resignation had been circulating for long adding that he is doing his job while getting essential medical treatment in London.
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The source further added that while there are options available to Dar there is no resignation at this stage.
Dar had sent his resignation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and that a decision on accepting the resignation would be made after the prime minister consults with PML-N party head Nawaz Sharif.
However, in case the finance minister does resign, Prime Minister Abbasi will take over the portfolio of the finance ministry.
Sources add that Dar made the decision to resign after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) requested for his name to be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Corruption reference
A corruption reference pertaining to Dar’s owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income was filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case.
The accountability court hearing the corruption case against Dar — who is in London to receive medical treatment for his heart condition — issued non-bailable warrants after the minister failed to appear in court for the fourth time on November 14.
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The court also issued a notice to Dar’s guarantor for failing to ensure the presence of the minister and adjourned the hearing until November 21.
The anti-graft body has also announced that it would reinvestigate Dar in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.