Pak FM steps down; makes way for senior PML-N leader to take over
Pakistan finance minister Miftah Ismail on Sunday stepped down from his post to make way for Ishaq Dar to take over the reins of the country's cash-strapped economy.
The formal decision to put 72-year-old Dar in the driving seat of the financial affairs was taken in during a meeting between the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his brother Nawaz Sharif in London on Saturday.
Both the finance minister Miftah Ismail and his successor Ishaq Dar were present in the meeting, besides other leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Miftah handed over his resignation to the elder Sharif, who is out of politics due to conviction in corruption cases but his decisions are considered binding on the party.
I worked to the best of my ability for four months, and remained loyal to the party and the country, Miftah was quoted as saying by the PML-N in a statement.
Former premier Sharif appreciated the efforts made by Miftah for carrying out the responsibilities under the tough economic challenges.
The resignation came after it was formally decided in the party meeting that the country needs a new finance minister and Nawaz Sharif nominated Dar for the tough job.
Separately, Geo News reported that Dar would come back from London with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and take oath next week, possibly on Tuesday.
Dar is also related to the elder Sharif as his son is married with one of the daughters of the former premier Nawaz Sharif.
He served as finance minister when Nawaz Sharif was prime minister and later faced corruption charges but went out of the country before to evade conviction.
Dar's return to Pakistan has been made possible after an accountability court in Islamabad suspended on Friday the arrest warrant against him in an alleged corruption case in which he was declared a proclaimed offender.
Ismail, whose tenure as finance minister ends on October 18, is expected to remain in the cabinet as an adviser.
The change in the key portfolio came after an audio clip leak went viral, believably featuring a conversation between Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, with the latter accusing Ismail of failing to fix the economy.