Pakistan's finance minister Ishaq Dar has gone on indefinite medical leave, piling more pressure on the government ahead of elections due next year.
Dar came under the radar of an inquiry sparked by the Panama Papers leak last year which centred on discrepancies between the income of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his lavish lifestyle, particularly his family properties in London.
A finance ministry official confirmed to AFP Thursday that Dar has applied for and been granted the leave.
Local reports have said he is suffering from a heart condition. Images showing him on a hospital bed in the UK were published in local media earlier this month.
"He has not resigned from his job, nor anybody else has been appointed as finance minister," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media.
The Supreme Court ousted Sharif over the investigation this summer, and an accountability court is now trying him.
The scandal has left his ruling Pakistan Muslim League under pressure ahead of general elections due to be held sometime next year, with the allegations against Dar adding to the heat.
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