It was Ishaq Dar who ‘wanted to be’ on HARDtalk, reveals BBC’s Stephen Sackur

03:38 PM | 24 Dec, 2020
It was Ishaq Dar who ‘wanted to be’ on HARDtalk, reveals BBC’s Stephen Sackur
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ISLAMABAD/LONDON – British journalist and host of the BBC’s Hardtalk Stephen Sackur said the PML-N leader Ishaq Dar "wanted to be on the show himself."

The 56-year-old said that he "enjoyed" the intense conversation with former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

Speaking with BBC Urdu correspondent Aliya Nazki, Sackur stated that they are making a very conscious effort to cover Pakistan more thoroughly in the show.

According to him, they were very delighted when Dar said he was happy to come and give us the interview.

"Dar is a very direct speaker and he also seemed to enjoy the conversation as it was worthwhile."

Mr Sackur also mentioned his own experience with such conversation, that made him learn a lot through his experience on how to handle politicians who wanted to dodge direct questions or wished to present only what they had to say.

To another question, the BBC host said he has become quite used to the methods that politicians and public figures use to try to get their message across, and not necessarily always answer the direct question that's been asked.

Earlier this month, former finance minister and PML-N leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Ishaq Dar appeared on BBC HardTalk, where the host Stephen Sackur grilled him about his properties and returned to Pakistan.

Dar is banned by PEMRA from TV interviews in Pakistan after he was declared fugitive by the court.

The BBC host pushed Dar for answers relating to the number of properties he owns and why he and Nawaz Sharif will not return to Pakistan.

The PML-N leader maintained that his tax records are clean and all tax matters have been reported by him, the host  repeatedly asked how many properties he and his family owns. “It’s all declared in my tax returns. Everything is accounted for”, Dar replied.

The 70-year-old also responded on PML-N chief's stance on the establishment, “Let us be very clear; Mr Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister or otherwise is not anti-military. He blames certain individuals. If he talks of certain interventions which were against the oath and against the constitution of Pakistan, what is wrong with that?”, he answered.

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