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Pak PM grants 3-month sick leave to embattled Finance Minister Ishaq Dar

Embattled Pak Finance Minister Dar granted leave for 3 months

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad/London 

Pakistan Finanace Minister Ishaq Dar
Pak Finance Minister Ishaq Dar File Photo: Reuters

Pakistan's embattled Minister Ishaq Dar has been relieved of his duties after the ailing politician, declared a proclaimed absconder by a in the Panama Papers case, requested leave for three months, media reports said today.

Dar, 67, had arrived in nearly a month ago and has been seeking treatment at a Harley Street hospital.

Dar sent a three-page letter to the Prime Minister's Office on Monday seeking leave of absence. In it, he narrated his health condition, saying that his surgeon had asked him to avoid air travel.

He said his medical tests in showed "diffuse coronary heart disease and possible ischemic heart disease", the Express Tribune reported.

In his letter to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Dar said that he wishes to seek "relief for now from looking after the three divisions" that he has been heading for nearly four years.

The issued two notifications yesterday after Prime Minister Abbasi approved Dar's leave application, Dawn reported.

"The prime minister has been pleased to allow leave of absence to Ishaq Dar... with immediate effect," said one of the notifications issued by the Cabinet Secretariat.

The second communique announced the decision to withdraw the portfolios of and Economic Affairs Division from Dar.

Prime Minister Abbasi will look after the minister's duties until a replacement is found.

In his letter, Dar said that he had been running the affairs of the ministry via email, WhatsApp etc since October 27, and asked for leave without pay.

Dar was indicted on September 27 in a case linked to the Panama Papers case, but he continued to serve as finance minister amid strong criticism from Opposition parties.

An accountability had on November 14 issued non- bailable arrest warrants for the finance minister because of his repeated failure to appear before it. On November 21, the accountability declared him a 'proclaimed absconder'.

Dar is accused of amassing assets of an approximate value of Rs 831.7 million disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Dar had assumed the responsibilities of Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatisation in the Cabinet of ousted prime minister in June 2013. He continued as Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs in the Cabinet of but the new premier separated Statistics and Privatisation from the Finance Ministry.

Dar's son is married to a daughter of Sharif.

The had registered three cases of and money laundering against Sharif, his family members, and Dar in the Islamabad Accountability Court, weeks after the Supreme Court order ousted Sharif.

Meanwhile, Dawn also reported that Dar had advised the prime minister to constitute an advisory committee to look into economic issues in his absence.

The likely members of the economic advisory committee suggested by Dar include Shaukat Tarin, who served as finance minister under the PPP government, and Dr Ishrat Husain, who was governor of the State Bank during the regime of regime.

Two other names being floated include Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs Miftah Ismail, and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan.

Talking to a private TV channel, Minister for Inter- Provincial Coordination yesterday demanded resignation of Dar.

Earlier, the on Finance had also made a similar demand.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 23 2017. 15:24 IST