LAHORE - The city district government and the Lahore Development Authority seized the residence of former finance minister Ishaq Dar on the orders of the National Accountability Bureau in Lahore on Saturday.

A team of district administration headed by State Commissioner Model Town Zeeshan Ranjha reached the Hajvery House in Gulberg (III H Block) and sealed the property. The house spread over four kanals piece of land is owned by Ishaq Dar, who is also close relative of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Dar was declared proclaimed offender (PO) by local courts after he left the country and did not come back to face cases related to corruption and money laundering.

The officials of the district government also ordered all the people who were inside the building to vacate it immediately. An official says the property will be auctioned later. He also said that they were ordered to seize the property by NAB.

According to sources, the property was seized by the LDA on the directions of the National Accountability Bureau. Early this year, the anti-corruption authority had contacted Interpol for the extradition of Ishaq Dar and Nawaz Sharif’s sons, Hassan and Hussain. They had been declared as POs by the courts in several corruption cases.

Property will be auctioned later, says an official

Ishaq Dar has been accused of having assets beyond known sources of income. A reference was filed against him in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2018,  verdict in the Panama Papers case. He was later declared a proclaimed offender in the same case.

Last year, an accountability court had ordered the auction of Dar’s assets and confiscation of his bank accounts. The action was taken after Dar failed to face corruption case in the local courts. He went to London to seek medical treatment but never returned.

Earlier, Dar’s wife Tabasum Ishaq had challenged the court’s decision and claimed that Hajvery House belongs to her. She argued that her husband had gifted to her the house on February 14, 1989. Therefore, it cannot be confiscated.

On the other hand, NAB rejected her claims and argued that the house cannot be handed over to her.

The NAB also said that the property could not be returned to her because she did not possess any evidence to prove it as a gift. It said the house was purchased by Dar in 1988 and the land department’s records show that he is still the owner of the property.

Dar’s other properties include three plots in Lahore’s A-Falah Housing Society, six acres of land in Mauza Milot, 2-kanal plot in Islamabad’s Parliamentarians Enclave, three Land Cruisers, two Mercedes Benz and one Toyota Corolla.