Miftah steps down as Dar hand-picked to regain ‘political capital’

LONDON: The top PML-N huddle headed by party supremo Nawaz Sharif decided on Sunday that former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will return to Pakistan along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and would replace Miftah as new finance minister.

The party top brass advised Ishaq Dar to travel along with prime minister by Nawaz Sharif and he would take oath as finance minister on Tuesday. The finance wizard had previously booked return ticket for Wednesday.

Sources further said that Miftah Ismail, the current finance minister, will remain part of the government’s economic team, while Ishaq Dar will assume charge as the coalition government’s new finance minister.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday reached London to meet his brother and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif to discuss the ongoing political situation in the country.

Both leaders discussed the strategy to deal with PTI Chief Imran Khan’s call for a long march, sources informed ARY News.

Miftah Ismail steps down as finance minister

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail on Sunday tendered his resignation to PML-N supremo Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in a party meeting held in London.

Senior PML-N leader Ishaq Dar would replace Miftah as new finance minister. Ishaq’s nomination was put forth by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting, held under the chair of PML-N supremo.

The meeting threadbare discussed overall political and economic situation of the country. It was of the opinion that the incumbent government had to steer the country out of the economic crisis caused by the previous government of PTI.

Miftah Ismail thanked Nawaz Sharif for reposing confidence in him. He said he served the country in last four months with best of his abilities.

Nawaz Sharif appreciated the efforts of Miftah for carrying out the responsibilities under the most difficult conditions.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Miftah Ismail, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, and Ahad Cheema attended the meeting.

“I worked to the best of my ability for four months, and remained loyal to the party and the country,” the PML-N statement quoted Miftah as saying during the meeting.

During the huddle, PM Shehbaz and party supremo Nawaz nominated Dar as the new finance minister of the country.

Dar set to become financial czar – again

Former financial czar Ishaq Dar is all set to become Pakistan’s finance minister again in what appears to be a desperate move by the bigwigs of the PML-N not only to revive the country’s faltering economy but to regain its lost political capital ahead of the next general elections.

If all goes as per plan, the senior PML-N leader and the senator-elect is likely to take oath as the finance minister as early as the coming Tuesday.

The premier, who had gone to the UK to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, had met his elder brother in London to discuss key political issues before departing to the US to attend the UN General Assembly session.

After the UNGA session, PM Shehbaz returned to London again and had a long meeting with his brother and Dar, who had left for the UK in October 2017 while he was standing trial in a corruption reference.

The PML-N officials accompanying the prime minister revealed that Miftah had opted to resign instead of taking a new portfolio after the party leadership decided in the London huddle to replace him with Dar.

Miftah’s term as the finance minister is ending on September 27 as he could only serve for six months as an outsider.

He either needed to be elected as a member of the National Assembly or Senate to continue holding his portfolio.



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