Ishaq Dar’s fall from grace | Pakistan Today

Ishaq Dar’s fall from grace

  • Senator’s rise from an accountant to country’s finance minister

Senator Ishaq Dar — one of the most influential men in Nawaz Sharif-led cabinet and even before being part of the previous cabinet — has hit a roadblock, as his career as a politician has presumably come to an end, according to speculations in media that he might lose his post of finance minister.

Dar remained closed to Nawaz since the late 80s but following the Panama Papers case, his popularity with the Sharifs has come to an end, which could potentially cost him his political career as well. Reportedly, Dar acted as a de-facto deputy prime minister under the Nawaz-led cabinet and had held the chairmanship of dozens of committees.

Dar’s rise from an accountant to the country’s finance minister

Late 1980s: Dar starts his political career by joining Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) central executive committee as a member

1992-1993: Dar holds first public office as chief executive of the Pakistan Board of Investment with the status of the state minister till the PML-N government was dismissed

1993: Dar becomes the president of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry

1993: Dar runs for NA-95 by-election and wins with 62 percent votes. The seat was vacated by Nawaz Sharif

1996: Dar’s tenure comes to an end as Benazir’s government is dismissed

1997: Dar runs for NA-97 and gets elected. This is the first time PML-N wins clear majority in the assembly and Dar is inducted into Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet as a federal minister for commerce

1998: Amid sanctions following Pakistan’s nuclear test, Dar is given an additional portfolio of finance minister

1998: Dar negotiates an IMF rescue package to meet the economic crisis triggered by sanctions

1999 coup: Nawaz Sharif government is dismissed and Dar goes to jail under Musharraf regime for two years

2003: Dar returns to Pakistan after few months’ stay and runs for Senate elections. Subsequently, he becomes senator for a three-year term and also serves PML-N parliamentary leader in the Senate

2006: Dar becomes senator again but for a six-year term this time

2008: Dar joins Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani-led cabinet as the finance minister in March but PML-N-PPP coalition flops which ends his brief tenure

2011: Dar is awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz for his parliamentary services; however, he refuses to receive it from then president Asif Zardari

March 2012: Dar becomes Senate’s leader of opposition until May 2013

2012: Dar gets re-elected to Senate in 2012 elections for another six years. He serves as a member of the Special Committee of the Parliament of Pakistan on Constitutional Reforms, and co-prepares and passes the 18th, the 19th, and the 20th amendments

2013 general elections: Dar becomes part of PML-N central parliamentary board, tasked with selecting candidates for the election

2013: Dar becomes a finance minister for the third time following the PML-N victory in the elections

2014: Nawaz Sharif appoints Dar as the chairman of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Election Reforms and the Economic Coordination Committee

July 2016: NAB closes $130billion corruption case against Dar, which it considered as one of 179 mega-scam corruption cases since 2001. NAB was under pressure to close case “despite the fact that enough material was available against Dar”, reports Pakistan Today then

October 2016: Emerging Markets newspaper, reportedly published by the International Monetary Fund/World Bank, declares Dar as ‘Finance Minister of the year 2016 for South Asia’. However, the IMF says newspaper is an independent publication

July 2017: Supreme Court convicts Ishaq Dar in Panamagate judgment. Following the verdict, the Nawaz-led cabinet is dissolved and Dar’s tenure ends. References to be filed against the Sharifs and Dar in this regard

August 2017: Dar once again becomes the finance minister, this time in the cabinet of PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Abbasi takes steps to curb Dar’s influence: on Aug 11, Dar is removed as chairman of Economic Coordination Committee; on August 20, he is removed from the chairmanship of some 35 National Assembly committees

September 2017: Accountability court issues bailable arrest warrants against Dar and the NAB freezes his assets and bank accounts.



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