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Ishaq Dar being tipped next Finance Minister, reaching Pakistan next week

Shehbaz Sharif-led govt has miserably failed to tackle economic matters efficiently, which led to massive price-hike, one-sided agreement with IMF and unexpected increase in value of dollar

ISLAMABAD: Senator-elect Ishaq Dar is returning to Pakistan next week after a gap of more than four years. He is coming back at a time when the six months term of Miftah Ismail as finance minister is expiring around mid-October.

As Miftah Ismail is a non-elected politician (Neither Senator nor MNA), Prime Minister has appointed him as Finance Minister for six months term using his discretionary powers.

A few weeks ago, Miftah already told the media that his term was ending soon.

PML-N leaders are of the opinion that the return of Ishaq Dar at this time makes it clear that he is going to become new Finance Minister.

On Friday, an accountability court in Islamabad suspended arrest warrants for former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar until October 7. The court said it would revoke the orders once the accused appeared in the court.

If Dar gets bail, he would take oath as Senator to become Finance Minister. After the exit of Miftah Ismail, there will be no major hurdle in the way of Dar to take the most coveted position of Finance Minister, the second most power politician after Prime Minister.

The PML-N leaders also believe that Dar is a better person to handle the most vulnerable economy at this time _ on the one hand, the floods have ravaged third of Pakistan causing about $30 billion worth losses while on the other, dollar is devouring rupee almost daily and again surged to record high level of 246 to 248 rupees in the open market and 239 rupees in the inter-bank.

The coalition government inherited the dollar-rupee exchange rate at 175 rupees _ which crossed 190 rupees on the day of no-confidence moved against Imran Khan, but again fell to 175 rupees when Shehbaz Sharif took oath as new Prime Minister. At that time, the people were anticipating a further blow to the value of dollar, but the things moved the other way and dollar kept on slicing the value of rupee even after the disbursement of IMF loan.

Coming back to Dar’s bail, on Friday (Sept 23), Judge Muhammad Bashir of the Accountability Court heard Ishaq Dar’s request to have the arrest warrants against him canceled. Upon receiving a promise from Dar’s attorney Qazi Misbah that he (Dar) would reach the court soon after landing at the airport, the court suspended his arrest warrants.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader contested the arrest warrants issued by the NAB court on September 21. Dar appealed against his arrest warrants in a corruption case before AC Judge Azam Khan through his attorney Qazi Misbah.

In his appeal, the former finance minister said that he was prepared to surrender and begged the court to throw down his arrest warrants.

After notifying NAB, the judge continued the hearing to September 23. Ishaq Dar, a former finance minister, was charged with corruption earlier in 2017, and the National Accountability Bureau filed a reference against him (NAB).

According to NAB reference, the accused had acquired wealth and financial interests in his name or the names of his dependents. His assets are out of proportion to his known sources of income, which he is unable to adequately explain.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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