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ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Ishaq Dar withdrew his petition from the apex court for being declared as proclaimed offender by Accountability Court, Islamabad.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi on Wednesday heard the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader’s petition. An accountability court on December 11, 2017 had declared Dar an absconder in a corruption reference after the former finance minister repeatedly failed to join the trial.

During the proceeding, Advocate Salman Butt, appeared on behalf of Dar, and apprised that his client wanted to withdraw the petition and approach the relevant forum. The bench accepting his plea disposed of the case.

Dar, who has been in self-exile since 2017 was elected as senator in absentia on a technocrat seat from Punjab in 2018, but he did not take oath owing to his stay in London on health grounds.

In his petition before the Supreme Court, the PML-N senator contended that he was in the United Kingdom (UK) due to his prolonged illness and the cancellation of his passport by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in 2018.

He said that due to the cancellation of the passport, he could not travel between September 2018 and May 2022. However, the applicant said he received a new passport in May this year.

Hence, he pleaded with the top court to order an immediate hearing of his pending application in the accountability court.

The former finance minister had previously announced to return to Pakistan at the end of July. However, his advisers suggested him to extend his stay in London until the top court completes adjudication on his petition.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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