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‘PM met fugitive in London’: CJP on Abbasi-Dar meeting

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who is said to be undergoing treatment abroad, to appear before it on May 8.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, who was heading a three-judge bench of the apex court, observed that the case will not proceed further until the PML-N leader appears in court.

If he doesn’t appear, then the court will hand down a decision it would deem fit, warned the chief justice.

He remarked that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met a fugitive from law during a recent visit to London. It appears the PM is not familiar with the law, he added.

He was referring to a recent meeting of the premier with PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif in London in which Dar was also present.

Earlier, Justice Nisar rejected a medical certificate of the PML-N leader, directing his lawyer to inform it about his client’s return until 8:00 pm today.

He said the minister, who had been declared a proclaimed offender over his perpetual absence from the trial court hearing the assets case against him, will be granted protective bail if he returns.

At the start of hearing, the chief justice asked, “Where is Ishaq Dar?  Have not you read our previous order?”

Advocate Salman Butt said his client is unwell. How can he remain sick for so long, remarked the chief justice, adding that the court had ordered him to appear in person today.

“We haven’t issued such order to be violated,” he said.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Nawazish Pirzada, a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate, who challenged the verdict of a Lahore High Court’s appellate election tribunal, which allowed Ishaq Dar to contest Senate election on March 03.

He said the senator-elect has been declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court hearing the assets case on December 11, 2017. He argued a fugitive from law couldn’t take part in election.

The petitioner pleaded with the court to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not to issue notification of Ishaq Dar’s win on a Senate seat from Punjab till the disposal of the case.

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