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Ishaq Dar applies for political asylum in UK: sources

LONDON: Embattled Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former finance minister Ishaq Dar has reportedly applied for political asylum in the United Kingdom.

Dar reportedly visited the Home Office in London a few days ago for an interview,  well-informed sources informed ARY News, seeking political asylum in the country. His family has refrained from confirming or denying that Dar has requested political asylum stating that he is legally living in the UK.

However, his son Ali Dar denied reports of his father seeking political asylum. He said that his father visited the Home Office as his Pakistani nationality and passport has been revoked, and had to clarify his legal status in the UK.

He said that the senior Dar also submitted his medical reports, and took a photograph with certain officers of the Home Office which is not evidence that he has applied for political asylum.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar has also refused to confirm whether Dar has applied for political asylum, but said he was not surprised by such a move by him.

He said that he received the news from the media and cannot verify at his stage. He said that he is visiting the UK for one week and will seek to confirm the report.

He said that the government has also sent an application seeking to extradite Dar from the UK, but there cannot be any diplomatic stiff over him.

Legal woes and confiscation of properties

Dar is currently absconding from several cases in Pakistan and has been declared a proclaimed offender by the courts. He is facing charges of accumulating assets beyond known sources of income.

Earlier this month on October 20, an accountability court allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to seize and confiscate his assets and other properties.

The anti-graft watchdog had stated that Dar owns three flats in Dubai, a house in Lahore’s Gulberg, four plots in Islamabad and one luxury car. He is also a shareholder in three companies based in Dubai, while his wife owns six cars in Pakistan.

A NAB prosecutor contended that the accused is obliged by law to contact within six months of the seizure of his assets of the properties would be sold.

The Supreme Court is also hearing a case regarding the extradition of Dar back to Pakistan. The Foreign Office has written a letter to the British High Commission in this regard but awaits a reply.

The apex court had directed authorities concerned to continue measures for the repatriation of Dar. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has said that the court will issue its verdict against Dar if he fails to turn up.

Dar’s diplomatic and normal passports have already been cancelled and he doesn’t have any travel documents at present, which implies that he cannot travel abroad outside the UK as well.

Earlier this month, the British government reportedly turned down a request to deport Ishaq Dar, stating there is no extradition treaty between both countries and Pakistan should send a formal application.

Dar left the country in November 2017 on the pretext of seeking medical treatment in London and has not returned ever since.



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