Business & Economy

Pakistan to appoint new finance minister to deal with crisis

Islamabad, Sep 27 (EFE).- After spending five years of self-exile in the United Kingdom due to corruption charges, Ishaq Dar has returned to Pakistan and was on Wednesday officially named as the new finance minister for the country, which has been witnessing a severe economic crisis and devastating floods.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked me to accept the responsibilities of finance minister,” Dar told reporters after landing at an airbase in Rawalpindi, close to Islamabad.

“By the grace of God, I will try my best to get Pakistan out of this economic rut,” he added.

Dar has served as the finance minister for three times and is an important leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the biggest party in the ruling alliance.

He had flown to London in 2017 for medical checkups for heart problems, while facing many corruption cases over allegations of possessing assets disproportionate to his income.

At the time, Dar had sought leave from former PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

In 2018, the he was elected as a lawmaker of the party, although he was never sworn in.

On Tuesday, Dar was sworn in as a senator after a gap of four years, two years before his term his set to end.

The opposition parties, termed the oath ceremony illegal.

There had “never been a tradition of this house that a person was elected senator in 2018 and took oath today,” said Shahzad Waseem, leader of the opposition in the senate.

“This country is not being run by a system but it has become property of a family,” Waseem, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, said in reference to the influence enjoyed by Sharif and his brother, ex-PM Nawaz Sharif.

The incumbent finance minister Miftah Ismail resigned on Tuesday after being widely criticized for not taking sufficient measures to deal with the economic crisis.

Dar is set to face challenges such as the dwindling foreign reserves, the high rate of inflation, and the impact of devastating floods that have caused damage worth around $30 billion. EFE


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