Sat, 10 Dec 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 24 (ANI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Ishaq Dar will assume charge as the finance minister of the country replacing Miftah Ismail on Tuesday, Geo News reported.

According to Geo News, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with party supremo Nawaz Sharif in London on Saturday, where it was decided that the ruling coalition would hand over the finance ministry to Ishaq Dar after he returns to the country.

Earlier today, Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah confirmed that Dar would return to Pakistan next week. Addressing a news conference in Lahore, Sanaullah said Dar would be able to help Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif manage the country's economic affairs "better".

Dar, himself, had said yesterday that he would take oath as a Senator immediately after his return and would perform whatever duty was assigned to him by Nawaz and Shehbaz.

According to the sources, current finance minister Miftah Ismail will remain part of the government's economic team.

For weeks, there has been speculation that incumbent Finance Minister Miftah Ismail would be replaced by Dar, with certain top members of the PML-N -- like Maryam Nawaz and Javed Latif -- on several occasions publicly attacking and disowning his policies, in particular, the inevitable reversal of the costly fuel subsidy introduced by the previous PTI government, the Dawn reported.

It is pertinent to mention here that the former finance minister left Pakistan four years back and is wanted in Pakistan in multiple cases.

A day ago, an accountability court had suspended an outstanding arrest warrant against Dar, paving the way for the former finance minister's return from London, where he has been living in 'self-exile' for the past five years or so.

Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir issued a suspension order for a perpetual warrant of arrest against Dar, which was issued on December 11, 2017, after he absconded from an assets-beyond-means case. The warrants were suspended until October 7, giving the senator-elect a fortnight to surrender to the law.

The court suspended his arrest warrants on his lawyer Qazi Misbah's guarantee that Dar would come straight to the court after landing at the airport.

Earlier, in May, the Pakistan court issued a perpetual arrest warrant against former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in "corruption reference".

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the reference against Dar, who has been declared an absconder in the case since he has missed hearings owing to his prolonged stay in London, that the former Minister had acquired assets beyond his known sources of income, Dawn newspaper reported.

The court also made conditional the issuance of a ruling on pleas seeking the acquittal of co-accused -- former NBP president Saeed Ahmed, Mansoor Raza Rizvi, and Naeem Mehmood, who were directors of Ishaq Dar's Hajveri Modaraba -- on the PML-N leader's arrest. The co-accused had filed pleas for their acquittal and challenged the reference under the NAB amendment ordinance, as per the publication.

NAB reference states that the accused had acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his name or the name of his dependents for an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million. (ANI)

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