ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Thursday directed the federal government to present a solution to the problem of former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s extradition to Pakistan.
The top court directed for devising a mechanism for bringing him back to the country through consultation between foreign and interior ministries and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The directives were issued by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
The bench had on July 12 reserved its judgment in the case of alleged illegal appointment of Attaul Haq Qasmi as chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV) and fixation of hefty amount as salary and other perks and privileges for him.
Believing that prima facie Dar was directly involved in making Qasmi’s illegal appointment, the court had separated his matter from the original case as the ex-minister is an absconder and currently residing in UK on the pretext of illness.
Dar has been declared absconder by the Accountability Court in a reference against him regarding his assets beyond known sources. He is also required by the Supreme Court in another case pertaining to the matter of his candidature for Senate election. But he continues to abscond in all cases despite repeated court warnings.
During the course of hearing of the instant matter, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Syed Nayyar Rizvi, Foreign Secretary Tehmina janjua, Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, NAB Prosecutor General Syed Asghar Haider appeared before the bench.
The AAG informed the bench that there is no treaty between the UK and Pakistan for extradition of accused persons. He further informed that a request for extradition of Dar had been put up with the Interpol and the response of international policing agency was being awaited.
“We are not seeing any solid steps for the extradition. Ask the new government when it is bringing back Dar,” the chief justice said, adding that the matter of his qualification as a senator was also pending with the apex court.
“He roams around in London but when the court summons him, he gives lame excuse of illness and bothers least about obeying the court,” the CJP observed.
Justice Ahsan observed that all the stakeholders were directed to assist with each other in extraditing him.
AAG Rizvi informed the bench that a meeting of all stakeholders was being convened to bring Dar back.
The bench asked the federal government to reply what could be the consequences in case of revoking Dar’s Pakistani passport.
The bench while directing the government for solution to extradite Dar adjourned the case till September 11.
Earlier in July, the government had issued red warrants for Ishaq Dar and the interior ministry had initiated the process for seeking Interpol help in Dar’s extradition.
The top court on May 9 had ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to suspend the notification of Senator-elect Ishaq Dar as member of the upper house for his failure to appear before the court despite repeated summons. On June 30, the ECP suspended his Senate membership.