Dar's bid to run economy sans IMF damaged Pakistan: Miftah

"Strange system has been established in Pakistan under which small section of elites makes all decisions," he says

By Business Desk
January 26, 2023
Former finance minister Miftah Ismai and his successor Ishaq Dar. — AFP/Screengrab/BBC/File

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail on Thursday took a jibe at his successor, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, saying that the finmin spoke against him in public and questioned his ability.

"I don't know why Mr Dar was brought back but Mr Dar thought that he can run the country without International Monetary Fund (IMF)," Ismail said while speaking during Geo News'programme "Geo Pakistan".


The former finance minister said that Dar's attempt at Pakistan's survival sans the Fund caused the country a "big losses" but eventually the government realised that it would have to accept the tough terms of the lender.

He further stated that a strange system has been established in Pakistan under which a small section of elites makes all the decisions.

"Every country is ahead of us and the reason behind it is the fault in governance," Ismail said. He said that the governance system could never be fixed without the devolution of authority.

The politician further stated that the authorities needed to create employment opportunities for the lower class.

"We have seen the democratic system of government, presidential system, and dictatorship as well," he said, adding that the elite system has to be abolished.

"We are at fault as well as we couldn't change this system," he said.

When asked about the recently started national dialogue and formation of a new political party, Ismail said that he is still part of PML-N but he has no plans to take part in the elections in the future.

He, however, clarified that the party has taken no action against him.

Dar orchestrated removal

Earlier, Ismail blamed his successor Dar for running campaigns against him for over six months, saying that the latter could not tolerate someone else from the party in the finance minister's post.

Ismail's comments came during a podcast on a YouTube channel, where he said Dar appeared on TV channels and claimed that he would bring down the dollar rate to Rs160. The former finance minister also claimed that Dar even asked anchors to tweet against him (Miftah) and host TV programmes.

As per Ismail, Dar is closer to Nawaz Sharif because his son is married to the PML-N supremo's daughter and was with him in London. He added that Dar used to tell Nawaz that he would bring the dollar rate and petroleum prices down.

Ismail added that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was satisfied with his performance and did not want to replace him. The IMF deal was restored, and default risk had also been minimised in my tenure, he said.

The former minister added that even though it was the PM's prerogative to remove him, the way it was done was not respectful. "Nawaz Sharif called me to London and told me in front of 12 people that I'm being replaced," Ismail lamented.

The row

This is not the first time the two PML-N leaders have openly confronted each other. Dar and Ismail have been in a verbal war since Miftah took over as the finance minister in April.

Earlier in October, Ismail took a jab at Dar for slashing the petrol price by Rs12.63 per litre.

In a tweet, the former finance minister expressed his displeasure over the government's decision not to increase the petroleum development levy (PDL) without IMF approval and termed it "reckless".

In response to the tweet, Dar said in the Geo News'programme "Capital Talk" that Miftah should not worry about the IMF deal as now he has to deal with the lender.