Ishaq Dar set to take charge of troubled economy

Nawaz is worried that the rise in prices of commodities has impacted the support base of PML-N, sources say

September 24, 2022
(L-R) Ishaq Dar, Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, in a meeting in London, on September 24, 2022. — Photo courtesy PML-N

LONDON: PML-N leader Ishaq Dar will assume charge as the finance minister on Tuesday and the current Finance Minister Miftah Ismail will continue to remain part of the government, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and PML-N President Nawaz Sharif decided during an important meeting here on Saturday.

Both Sharifs met here for over four hours at Shahbaz’s flat. Dar was also in attendance. A source privy to the contents of the meeting told The News exclusively that it has been decided that Dar will assume charge as the finance minister on Tuesday.

PM Shahbaz is set to leave for Pakistan on Sunday and it’s not clear yet whether Dar will fly with the premier or later.

The source said that Nawaz had not been happy with the economic policies of Miftah and had called for a change in the direction of economic policies. Nawaz, according to the source, is worried that the rise in prices of commodities had directly affected ordinary people which has impacted upon the support base of PML-N.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah confirmed that Dar will return to Pakistan next week.

Dar, himself, had told The News in an interview that he will take oath as a Senator immediately after his return. The former finance minister said that he would perform whatever duty is assigned to him by Nawaz and Shahbaz.

PM Shahbaz, along with Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb reached London after attending the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York a day earlier and is scheduled to leave for Pakistan on Sunday.

Other than the decision on Dar’s role in the government, the two leaders also discussed the ongoing situation in the country and measures taken by the sitting coalition government.

The strategy to deal with PTI Chief Imran Khan’s call for a long march, and ending PTI’s government in Punjab was also discussed. It was decided that Imran Khan’s long march will be dealt with by all legal means and no one will be allowed to create anarchy in the country, said the source privy to the meeting.

The meeting decided that the next general elections will be held on time and no pressure from the PTI will be tolerated.