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Pakistan court issues arrest warrant for finance minister

Pakistan court issues arrest warrant for finance minister

A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar after the veteran politician failed to turn up for several court hearings.

On September 27, the finance minister had been indicted for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

The court also issued a notice to Dar's guarantor Ahmad Ali Qudoosi for failing to ensure the presence of the minister. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor told the judge that the officer was coming from Lahore, and was late due to fog. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a graft reference against the minister for having possessed assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.

In response, Quddusi had said that, according to a November 6 report from a private hospital in London, Dar's recovery is expected to take another six or eight weeks.

The court after a brief adjournment of the hearing issued non-bailable warrants for Dar's arrest.

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Dar has not attended the previous three hearings in relation to his ongoing medical treatment in London.

However, the court adjourned hearing of the case till Wednesday.

In its reference against the finance minister, NAB has alleged that "the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx)".

On November 8, Accountability Court issued a warning to Dar's surety-giver, saying that the court will confiscate surety bonds worth Rs 5 million if he fails to appear before the court on November 14 (today).