Pakistan court allows auctioning of former Finance Minister Dar's assets
An anti-corruption court in Pakistan directed authorities to auction the assets and seize bank accounts of absconding former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in a graft case filed against him in Panama Papers scandal. The case about owning "assets beyond known means of income" is among the four graft cases filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) following the Supreme Court's July 28 order against Dar.
Punjab's provincial government has authority to sell/keep the seized assets
NAB has also filed similar cases against ousted PM Nawaz Sharif and his family. The court's decision came on an application filed by the agency, seeking auction of Dar's assets and asking the court to appoint a beneficiary of recovered amount. It said that Punjab's provincial government will be responsible for auction and will decide whether to sell or keep the seized assets.
Dar, Sharif's aide, has been in London since last October
Judge Mohammad Bashir had reserved the verdict on NAB's application yesterday after the watchdog submitted details of Dar's assets. NAB had earlier moved the Islamabad-based accountability court for the auction of properties of Dar, Sharif's aide, as he has been in London since last October.
Why did the Supreme Court declare Dar as absconder?
Dar, the father-in-law of Sharif's younger daughter, was declared an absconder in the corruption case after he went to London but never came back to face trial. The case of assets beyond means was launched against Dar last September on SC orders after it disqualified Sharif and ordered corruption cases against him, his children Maryam Nawaz, Husain and Hasan, and son-in-law Captain Muhammad Safdar.
NAB has already seized Dar's assets in Lahore, Islamabad
The NAB has already seized all of Dar's movable and immovable assets located in Lahore and Islamabad. Reportedly, the 67-year-old acquired assets worth PKR 831.7mn, which was disproportionate to the known sources of his income. The Panama Papers case is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in the 1990s when he twice served as Pakistan's Prime Minister and purchased assets in London.