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Ishaq Dar Tapped for Foreign Minister Role, Sources Reveal Amidst Pakistan’s Political Developments

ISLAMABAD: According to sources, PML-N leader Ishaq Dar is reportedly set to become the foreign minister under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Former caretaker foreign minister Jalil Abbas Jilani is expected to serve as the adviser to the PM on foreign affairs, with Tariq Fatemi appointed as the special assistant to the PM on foreign affairs.

The decisions were made following a meeting between the three and PM Shehbaz in Islamabad, establishing a team led by Dar to oversee foreign affairs.

Dar’s new role comes after he withdrew from contention for the position of finance minister. The CEO of Habib Bank Ltd, Muhammad Aurangzeb, is anticipated to take a prominent role in the finance team. Dar is likely to be appointed as the adviser to the prime minister on finance.

The ruling alliance in Pakistan is yet to finalize the appointment of a finance minister, a critical position responsible for negotiating a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. With the country’s struggling $350 billion economy facing challenges, the current IMF agreement expires on April 11. Ishaq Dar is considered a top contender, although other candidates, including caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar and Muhammad Aurangzeb, are also being considered.

Dar’s previous tenure as finance minister faced criticism, but he defended his actions, emphasizing tough measures to avert a sovereign default. The new finance minister faces the task of negotiating an extended IMF program and preparing a federal budget amid economic challenges and public discontent.

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