I only own one property, living in London due to health reasons: PML-N's Ishaq DarArchive
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar and PML-N leader Ishaq Dar has claimed that he only owns a single property, which is his sole residence in Pakistan, and denied allegations of his property interests abroad.
Appearing on BBC's well-known programme Hardtalk, Dar said he was living in the United Kingdom because of medical reasons and could not return to Pakistan because he was still suffering.
After the PML-N leader denied allegations of corruption against him and boasted of a clean tax record, host Stephen Sackur asked him point-blank how many properties he and his family owned.
"It's all declared in my tax returns," replied Dar. "I have my main residence in Pakistan which has been taken over by this (PTI) regime. I haven't got too many properties."
When pushed by Sackur, he said he owned "one" property that was his only residence, and possessed no property in London. He said his sons who had been in business for 17 years owned a villa in Dubai but they were independent of him.
Dar was then asked why he didn't go to Pakistan and make his case before a court of law if his record was so clear and he only owned one property.
"Well the court of law [...] my lawyers were there, I'm here for medical treatment, I have cervical issue," he replied, adding that he was still unwell after having lived in Britain for three years.
"And you couldn't possibly get back to Pakistan?" Sackur asked.
"Well let's see what's happening in Pakistan," replied Dar. "Where are the human rights, what's happening in NAB (National Accountability Bureau) custody where dozens of people have been virtually killed. There are human rights abuses."
The interview created a buzz on Pakistani social media and 'Ishaq Dar' and 'Hardtalk' remained the top trends on Twitter in the country, with netizens sharing clips from the interview.
Host Stephen Sackur too noted in a tweet that the interview "seems to be causing quite a stir in #Pakistan".
Dar was declared an absconder by the Supreme Court in 2017 when he failed to appear before it since he was in London, reportedly undergoing medical treatment. Since then he remains in London.
In May 2018, the apex court had suspended Dar's Senate membership.
More to follow.