NAB begins process of declaring Ishaq Dar proclaimed offender

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has begun the process of declaring former finance minister Ishaq Dar a proclaimed offender for repeatedly failing to join the trial in the reference filed against him for allegedly possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.
A notice has been put up outside the accountability court by the Bureau’s investigating officer warning Dar to appear before the court within 10 days or else he will be declared a proclaimed offender, it emerged on Wednesday.
The 10-day period will expire on December 4, which is when the next hearing of the case will be held. The court is likely to declare a Dar a proclaimed offender on the same day.
The court had last week declared Dar, who is currently in London, an absconder and warned his guarantors of the confiscation of surety bonds worth Rs5 million if the accused did not join trial proceedings.
Read more: Guarantor seeks 3 weeks to present Ishaq Dar before accountability court
Dar’s Guarantor Ahmed Ali Quddusi had sought three weeks to present the former finance minister before the court.
The court is to hear arguments pertaining to confiscation of the surety bonds today. However, neither Dar’s guarantor nor his lawyer have so far appeared before the court.
NAB’s prosecution team is present inside the court while the hearing has been put on hold until Quddusi’s arrival.
‘Assets beyond known income’
The noose seems to be tightening further around the former finance minister after NAB decided to reopen the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference against him earlier this month.
The Hudaibiya reference will be the second ‘mega-corruption’ case against Dar being investigated by NAB, after the reference filed against him in the wake of the Panama Papers case judgement.
The reopening of the case was recommended by the joint investigation team formed by the apex court to probe the Panama Papers allegations against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
Also read: Ishaq Dar Removed from Finance Minister Slot: Sources
On July 28, a five-member Supreme Court bench had ordered NAB to file three references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and one against Dar, on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Imran Khan, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Sirajul Haq and Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.
In its reference against the finance minister, NAB alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependants of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx)”.
The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”.
The government last week withdrew the portfolio of finance minister from Ishaq Dar.