PM Abbasi approves Ishaq Dar's leave request


Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who was relieved from his job on Wednesday, wrote in his letter to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that doctors have advised him not to undertake worldwide air travel owing to heart problem. Dar had arrived in London around a month ago and has been seeking treatment at a Harley Street hospital.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has been relieved of his duties, officials said on Wednesday, following speculation about his future after he failed to appear in court to answer corruption charges.

Among the names mentioned in local media as possible finance chiefs were Miftah Ismail, an economist who was until recently chairman of the country's board of investment, and former finance minister Sartaj Aziz.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday approved Dar's "medical leave", which may eventually bring an end to his nearly four and a half year stint as the financial wizard of the country.

Dar has been continuously missing more than three weeks of hearings in front of the anti-graft agency, the National Accountability Bureau.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest after he missed several court appearances on corruption charges that he had amassed wealth beyond his known sources of income.

He would remain a federal minister and a leave of absence of three months has been granted to Dar, Geo News reported.

NAB prosecutor Imran Shafiq pointed out some discrepancies in two medical reports submitted in the court, saying the first one claimed that a blood vessel leading to the ailing minister's heart had ruptured and he had a history of the illness, but the latest report claimed otherwise.