Corruption reference: Court unfreezes accounts of Dar’s welfare trusts

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Wednesday ordered the government to unfreeze the accounts of the Hajveri Foundation and the Hajveri Trust — two charitable organisations founded by former finance minister Ishaq Dar and the accounts of which were seized last year as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) initiated proceedings against him in a corruption reference.

Former finance minister’s counsels Qazi Mishbahul Hassan and Faisal Qausain Mufti have informed the court that Hajvery Foundation is running more than one project.

They said that the foundation is also giving approximately millions to various hospitals for dialysis treatment.

In addition, they maintained, Hajvery Foundation also gives funds to Hajvery trust which is an institution for orphan children.

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“How can someone misuse trust funds? We have filed documents regarding expenses of the trust for the past three years,” Hassan told the accountability court.

NAB’s prosecutor Imran Shafiq said that he could confirm that Hajvery Trust caters to orphaned children, adding that he did not want the children to suffer but it is also a reality that welfare organisations were misused in past.

Following the arguments, the court reserved its verdict for a short while and later ordered the government to unfreeze accounts as welfare activities were being affected.

The counsels said if the entities were not allowed to operate its account then there would be no body to take care of around 100 orphans and the Orphanage House would be compelled to be closed down by leaving them in the lurch.

“[It] may result into an irreparable loss to the Trust in general and to the orphans in particular,” the petition read.

The accountability court while hearing the NAB’s reference accusing Dar of amassing assets beyond his known sources of income had issued warrants of attachment against his movable and immoveable properties just days after declaring him proclaimed offender.

The petitioner had prayed the court to grant approval to the Trust to operate its account at Faysal Bank Limited’s branch in Gulberg Lahore in the interest of justice and fair play.

On September 27, the accountability court indicted Dar for amassing assets beyond his known sources of income and directed the prosecution to produce witnesses and evidence for establishing its case.

Dar had pleaded not guilty and is standing trial in the NAB reference filed against him in line with the Supreme Court’s July 28 judgment in Panamagate case.

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