Pak's Ishaq Dar granted leave for 3 months
ISLAMABAD/LONDON: Pakistan's embattled finance minister Ishaq Dar has been relieved of his duties after the ailing politician, declared a proclaimed absconder by a court in the Panama Paperscase, requested leave for three months, media reports said on Thursday.
Dar, 67, had arrived in London nearly a month ago and has been seeking treatment at a Harley Street hospital.
Dar sent a three-page letter to the Prime Minister's Office on Monday seeking leave of absence. In it, he narrated his health condition, saying that his surgeon had asked him to avoid international air travel. He said his medical tests in UK showed "diffuse coronary heart disease and possible ischemic heart disease", the Express Tribune reported.
In his letter to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Dar said that he wishes to seek "relief for now from looking after the three divisions" that he has been heading for nearly four years.
The government issued two notifications on Wednesday after Prime Minister Abbasi approved Dar's leave application, Dawn reported. "The prime minister has been pleased to allow leave of absence to Ishaq Dar... with immediate effect," said one of the notifications issued by the Cabinet Secretariat. The second communique announced the decision to withdraw the portfolios of Finance and Economic Affairs Division from Dar.
Prime Minister Abbasi will look after the finance minister's duties until a replacement is found. In his letter, Dar said that he had been running the affairs of the ministry via email, WhatsApp etc since October 27, and asked for leave without pay. Dar was indicted on September 27 in a corruption case linked to the Panama Papers case, but he continued to serve as finance minister amid strong criticism from opposition parties.