Pakistan government has cancelled the diplomatic passport of former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who has been declared an absconder in a graft case linking to the Panama Papers scandal.
The Supreme Court had last week initiated proceedings for extradition of 68-year-old Dar, who left the country soon after a court began hearings against him in a graft case filed in line with the apex court’s July 2017 Panama Papers verdict.
The Foreign Office cancelled the diplomatic passports of Dar and his wife, who are staying in the UK, the Express Tribune reported on Saturday.
Under the law, Dar was bound to surrender his and wife’s diplomatic passports within 30 days of ceasing office as the federal finance minister.
After surrendering diplomatic passports, they may get ordinary passports.
The daily quoted legal experts as saying that in view of cancellation of Dar’s passport, his movement will be halted and he would not be able travel from England to another country. However, Dar may get political asylum.
Interpol has yet to take a decision on Pakistan’s request, regarding extradition of Dar. However, the agency intervenes in very rare cases.
Currently, three high-profile individuals former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani and Dar have been declared absconders.
The Supreme Court had week had asked the government to make efforts for extradition of Haqqani and Dar.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been asked to approach Interpol for extradition of Haqqani, who is facing trial for his controversial memo sent to the US authorities in 2011 during the last Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government in a bid to seek help against the military establishment.
Interpol has refused to cooperate in the matter related to Musharraf. However, the interior ministry has also contacted it for the extradition of Hussain and Hassan, former premier Nawaz Sharif’s sons, who have also been declared absconders by the accountability court.
Last week, Additional Attorney General for Pakistan (AAGP) Nayyar Rizvi told the bench, “The government has already approached Interpol for extradition of Dar and is now awaiting a response.”
Generally, the Interpol takes three months to complete its requirements regarding repatriation of an accused.
Regarding cancellation of Dar’s passport and CNIC, Rizvi said he had already moved an application to explain the process regarding the cancellation of these documents.
However, he said, Dar may get political asylum due to the cancellation of his official documents. The fresh report regarding the cancellation of Dar’s diplomatic passport is likely to submitted in the apex court on Monday, the daily said.
The court will take up the matter on Tuesday.