Pakistan Finance Minister relieved of duties

Pakistan Finance Minister relieved of duties

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has been relieved of his duties after his “leave of absence” was approved by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Dar was relieved on Wednesday of his three roles, including his portfolio in the Finance Ministry and has been informed of the decision. The matter and the contents of the letter, earlier sent by Dar, were also discussed by Abbasi with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

He would remain a federal minister and a leave of absence of three months has been granted to Dar, Geo News reported.

Dar, who is receiving medical treatment in London for a heart condition, has an arrest warrant issued against him after he missed multiple court appearances on charges that he had amassed wealth beyond his known sources of income.

Following the move, Abbasi will look after the Finance Minister’s duties until a replacement is found. Sources told Dawn that Dar had advised the PM to constitute an advisory committee to look into economic issues in his absence.

Dar sent a three-page letter to the PM Office on November 20, stating that he wishes to seek “relief for now from looking after the three divisions” that he has been heading for approximately four years.

In it, he narrated his health condition, saying that his surgeon had asked him to avoid international air travel.

An accountability court in Islamabad had earlier declared the Finance Minister a proclaimed offender, rejecting his plea for exemption from appearance.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had announced last week that Dar will be reinvestigated in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case. It initiated reinvestigation into the case to fulfil legal requirements in the light of the Supreme Court verdict in the so-called Panama Papers case, the anti-graft body said in a statement.

Dar denied any wrongdoing. He said cases against him were politically motivated and aimed at getting the Sharifs punished through him.