After an accountability court suspended his arrest warrants, former finance minister Ishaq Dar on Friday said that he hopes to set off for Pakistan soon, with only the date of his return to be decided.
Speaking exclusively to SAMAA TV’s Syed Kousar Kazmi in London on Friday, Dar confirmed rumors of his impending return, noting that only his date of return has to be decided.
“You are talking to a Pakistani,” he beamed, adding that the date of his travel to Pakistan still has to be decided by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremos.
“[Deposed prime minister and former party chief] Nawaz Sharif will decide when I will return after consultations with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is coming to London tomorrow,” Dar said, adding
Incorrectly declared proclaimed offender
Asked about the suspension of his arrest warrants, Dar said that he had been legally pursuing all cases against him for the past four years.
“An appeal/petition had been pending before the Supreme Court since 2018,” he said, noting that the petition has now been withdrawn.
“That petition contended that I was incorrectly declared a proclaimed offender,” Dar said, explaining that there were multiple factors that contributed to his extended stay in London.
“First, all my medical documents were in order (which formed the basis of his travel out of Pakistan),” Dar said.
He took a swipe at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, stating that the previous regime did not issue him a new passport and also put his name on the passport control list.
“That meant that a new passport could not be issued to me by either the passport authorities in Islamabad or any Pakistani high commission or embassy around the world,” he lamented.
Recently, that bar was raised, and after due process, I got my passport.
All my medical records were in the IHC, but they dismissed the writ petition in haste, and my petition in the supreme court had been pending for over four years, he complained.
What led to withdrawal of warrants
Detailing the story behind the suspension of his arrest warrants, Dar disclosed that his legal team advised him to withdraw the petition before the Supreme Court and adopt a normal course.
“What is the course?” Dar said he asked of his legal team. He was told that a few high-profile politicians and private individuals had significant issues and had adopted the route of seeking protective transient bail from a high court and then appeared before the relevant court. This would end the charge of being an absconder.
“My conscience is clear, and I have always tried to work in the national interest of the country, and I will submit to the judicial process,” he said, adding that he decided against obtaining protective bail.
“I asked my legal team to submit these facts before the accountability court that these are the reasons [I have not been able to return to Pakistan] and that I want to appear before the court in 15 days, but for that, the warrants should be suspended,” Dar said, adding that after a couple of hearings, on Friday the accountability court suspended the warrants and gave Dar time until October 7 to appear before it.
Activities on return
It is widely expected that Dar, who had always helmed the financial reigns of the government when his party was in power, will once again take over the financial hot seat.
However, when asked about his plans for the country’s struggling economy, Dar said that his priority would be to join the Senate, where he is a senator-elect, and to appear before the courts and then do what his party asks of him.
“I will take the oath of the Senate and any other duties that the party assigns.”