Stephen Sackur believes Ishaq Dar ‘enjoyed’ intense BBC HARDTalk interview. Here’s why
Throughout the talk, Dar carefully declined to give straight answers like many other government officials.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar appeared on the BBC News HARDTalk show last month. On the show, the host Stephen Sackur grilled the politician for allegedly owning assets beyond means. Throughout the talk, Dar carefully declined to give straight answers like many other government officials.
Recently, BBC Urdu interviewed Sackur and asked him about his experience with Ishaq Dar. Sackur exclaimed:
I enjoyed interviewing the former finance minister of Pakistan. I was delighted that Ishaq Dar wanted to be on the show. We are making conscious efforts to cover Pakistan more thoroughly on HARDtalk.
Although many believe that Dar was seen red-faced on many occasions during the interview, Sackur said:
I believe that Ishaq Dar appeared to enjoy and appreciate the intense conversation.
The journalist told BBC Urdu that the show HARDTalk is supposed to be an intense interview. He added:
Dar was no exception. He has enough experience to ensure that high-profile figures don’t dodge the questions. The trick is to ask the same question so many times that you get the straight answer.
The BBC anchor person continued to state:
HARDtalk is not a boxing match where I treat the interviewee like an opponent. Honestly, I praise Dar for being a direct speaker.
Ishaq Dar’s Interview Highlights:
Dar, who is in self-imposed exile after corruption cases were filed against him, appeared on BBC News last month. The former Finance Minister of Pakistan answered questions about corruption charges, the PML-N’s fight against the government, and NAB.
During the show, the host Stephen Sackur asked Dar:
Is it your contention that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has no integrity?
To this, Dar responded:
NAB has lost its integrity. It is an institution that has been used against political opponents.
In response to another statement, Dar said:
The prime allegation in the Panama Papers Joint Investigation Team report (on which the Supreme Court directed NAB to file a reference against me) was that I didn’t file my tax returns in Pakistan for 20 years, i.e., 1981-2001.
Explaining his position, Dar stated:
As a chartered accountant, I never missed filing my tax returns while living in the UK and North America. These were blatant allegations.
At this statement, Sackur asked Dar about the number of properties owned by his family. The PML-N leader answered:
It’s all in my tax returns.
When the host insisted Dar to answer, he stated:
I have my main residence in Pakistan, which has been taken over by this regime. I haven’t got too many properties.
The host asked again:
How many properties do you and your family own?
To which Dar said:
Sackur asked him about the news reports in the Pakistan press that claim that the former PML-N minister owned multiple properties in and outside Pakistan. The host inquired:
You are sitting in London, and you don’t own anything here?
I don’t own any property in London or anywhere else as claimed by the media reports.
However, Dar eventually admitted that his sons recently acquired a villa in Dubai. He said:
They are adults and are in the business for the past 17 years.
It should be noted that 69-year-old Dar is presently residing in London and undergoing medical treatment. According to sources, Dar is absconding from several cases in Pakistan since 2017 and has been declared a proclaimed offender by the courts. Currently, the politician is facing charges of accumulating assets beyond known sources of income.
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