PM Abbasi approves Ishaq Dar’s leave request
Prime Minister Shahid .haqan Abbasi on Wednesday allowed “leave of absence for urgent medical reasons” to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar with immediate effect, DawnNews reported. A notification was issued by the Cabinet Division in this regard, a copy of which is available with DawnNews. It is pertinent to mention that the leave period has not been specified in the notification, however, according to law, the minister can avail medical leaves for maximum three months during his tenure. Details reveal that the portfolios of Dar have also been withdrawn as he is not expected to return anytime soon. The prime minister has taken the additional charge of Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs. Earlier on Tuesday, Dar was declared an absconder by an accountability court in Islamabad in a corruption reference filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). During an accountability hearing pertaining to Dar, who is accused of amassing assets of an approximate value of Rs831.7 million — disproportionate to his known sources of income ─ NAB’s investigating officer Nadir Abbass told the court that a NAB team had visited the minister’s residence in Lahore and Islamabad after non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him. However, Abbass said, Dar was not found at either one of his residential addresses. For some time now, the minister has been in London where he is reportedly undergoing medical treatment. The investigating officer claimed that the minister is in London to save himself from the court’s action. Declaring Dar an absconder, the accountability court said that steps will be taken to declare him a proclaimed offender within 10 days.