Ishaq Dar Latest Full Interview with BBC | Ishaq Dar with Stephen Sackur | Latest Interview of Former Finance Minister of Pakistan 2020

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Just watching Hard Talk with Stephen Sackur Live on BBC.

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Imran Khan won power in Pakistan two years ago with a promise to root out corruption and take on the country's vested interests. So how's it going? Rising food prices and the Covid pandemic have left many Pakistanis feeling worse off, while the anti-corruption drive has become a political battleground. Stephen Sackur speaks to Ishaq Dar who was Pakistan's Finance Minister and a key lieutenant of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Now both men are trying to rally opposition to Imran Khan, but how much credibility do they have?

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Former finance minister Ishaq Dar has said PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif is struggling for democracy and supremacy of the parliament in Pakistan and the current government is a form of 'judicial martial law'.

Speaking on BBC's 'Hard Talk', the now absconding former minister said he does not accuse the army, as an institution, of undermining the democratic process in Pakistan but stated that "it is the will and plan of some people, the same people who enforce martial law in Pakistan".

When Dar was asked if the army or the army chief were undermining democracy, he said that the PML-N is not alone and international reports also have said the same. "I am not talking about the entire institution, we need to differentiate. These are the wishes and plans of certain people, the same people who enforce martial law in Pakistan."

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"We are saying that if the elections were rigged, and this has now been proven, without doubt, someone is planning the entire thing. This is not us saying it, but the interior minister of Pakistan said that if Nawaz Sharif did not have issues with the institutions and the deep state, he would have become prime minister for the fourth time."

When asked if he had come to London seeking refuge as he is an absconder in Pakistan, the former finance minister said corruption allegations have been used repeatedly in the country's history and in the present circumstances, the current government is a "judicial martial law".

"I can prove that the allegations levelled against me are baseless and my name was not in the Panama Papers. I can provide proof against the accusations."

When the anchor confronted Dar by saying that Pakistan's accountability watchdog had scrutinised his accounts and found them not in order, Dar said that was not the case. "A joint investigation team was set-up and it had two military officers among others, they were actually overseeing the entire affair."

"NAB lost its significance some time ago. Its an institution that is used for political revenge against opponents.

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Dar, when asked how many properties are under his ownership, said he believes in transparency and has "declared all his assets in his statements".

When the anchor stated that news reports state that he and his family members own properties in Dubai and London, the former minister claimed the accusations were not true and he only has "one property" and added that his children are independent businessmen, hence their properties or assets have nothing to do with him.

Coming to the defence of his party chief, Dar said both the cases against Nawaz failed to prove any corruption.

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Dar was declared an absconder in late 2017. He has been absconding court proceedings since 2017 following the registration of reference against him. Later, NAB confiscated his various bank accounts worth Rs500 million and his house, spread over four kanals and seven marlas in Gulberg, Lahore.

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