Ishaq Dar formally seeks ‘leave of absence’ | Pakistan

LONDON: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has written to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi seeking relief from his duties.

Geo.tv has seen the letter sent by Ishaq Dar from London to the Prime Minister House requesting for “Leave of Absence” in light of his health.

Ishaq Dar had arrived in London around a month ago and has been seeking treatment at a Harley Street hospital. He has been attending the clinic for treatment three times a week and also spent a week in the hospital.

Ishaq Dar has stated in his letter to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that he wishes to seek “relief for now from looking after the three divisions” that he has been heading for approximately four years.

Geo.tv has learnt that Ishaq Dar spoke to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and took him in confidence prior to writing the letter to PM Abbasi seeking relief. Its understood that Nawaz Sharif advised him that in current circumstances it was best to let the PM run economic affairs of the country through an advisory committee of economic experts.

Sources have confirmed that PM Abbasi will accept the summary letter by Ishaq Dar later today and will formally announce to relieve him of his duties.

A source in Prime Minister, when reached for comment, said that the PM is aware that Ishaq Dar has requested to step aside from his role in view of his medical treatment in London. He said that the whole cabinet is of the view that Ishaq Dar provided excellent leadership to Pakistan’s economy and helped turn around Pakistan. He said Ishaq Dar took the economy in dire straits from the previous government and worked selflessly for Pakistan.

A source close to Ishaq Dar said that he had never any issue with unanimous decisions of his party colleagues and leaders of the party. The source refuted reports which had suggested that Ishaq Dar was clinging on to his role despite reservations from his party colleagues and party leaders.

The source added that Ishaq Dar has performed brilliantly for four years and not only stabilized but also provided right direction to the economy of Pakistan. The source said that Ishaq Dar and the Sharif family are being victimized through courts and that fact is known to all.

Ishaq Dar has always respected courts and will appear before the courts when he is in good medical condition and when doctors allow him to travel. Its understood that doctors have advised Ishaq Dar to travel only when he is medically fit.

An accountability court in Islamabad has declared Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar a proclaimed offender, rejecting his plea for exemption from appearance. NAB announced last week it will reinvestigate Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Hudaibiya Paper Mills case. NAB is initiating reinvestigations into the case to fulfil legal requirements in the light of a Supreme Court verdict, the anti-graft body said in a statement.

A corruption reference pertaining to Dar’s owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income was filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case. Ishaq Dar has denied any wrongdoing and says cases against him are politically motivated, aimed at getting Nawaz Sharif and family punished through him.

News Reporter

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