ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan has summoned former finance minister Ishaq Dar, assuring protective bail on his return.
A petition, moved by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Nawazish Pirzada, had requested the apex court to suspend the Lahore High Court judgment allowing Dar to contest the March 3 Senate elections. He was successfully elected to the Senate from Punjab but is yet to be administered oath.
During a hearing on Tuesday, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar questioned about Dar’s whereabouts in a case pertaining to the approval of his nomination papers for the Senate elections.
“Where is Ishaq Dar? You can bring him here today or tomorrow. We had issued orders summoning Dar,” the CJP remarked.
Dar’s legal counsel Advocate Salman Aslam Butt responded that Dar was seeking medical treatment in London. Hearing this, the CJP remarked that a sickness cannot last this long.
“Tell us when he will appear before court. We can even issue him a protective bail. We have issued orders once, we can’t issue them again,” observed the chief justice, adding that, “We are present here till 8pm in the evening.”
The CJP observed that Dar recently held a meeting with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in London, adding that the former finance minister should come to Pakistan to face cases.
He stated that warrants will be issued against Dar if he doesn’t appear before the courts.
The case has been adjourned until May 8.
On February 17, an appellate election tribunal of the LHC had granted Dar permission to contest Senate elections, setting aside an order of the returning officer (RO) who had rejected his nomination papers.
Dar has been out of the country since October last year on account of his medical treatment. He has since been declared a proclaimed offender in the corruption case filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau.