LONDON: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader Ishaq Dar will assume charge as the Finance Minister of Pakistan on Tuesday and the current Finance Minister Miftah Ismail will continue to remain part of the government, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif decided during an important meeting here on Saturday.
Both Sharifs met here for over four hours at Shehbaz Sharif’s flat. Ishaq Dar was also in attendance. A source privy to the contents of the meeting told The News and Geo exclusively that it has been decided that Ishaq Dar will assume the charge as the Finance Minister of Pakistan on Tuesday. PM Shehbaz Sharif is set to leave for Pakistan on Sunday (today) and it is not clear yet whether Ishaq Dar will fly with the premier or later.
The source said that Nawaz Sharif was not happy with the economic policies of Miftah Ismail, the current Finance Minister, and had called for a change in the direction of economic policies. Nawaz Sharif, said the source, is worried that the rise in prices of commodities had directly affected ordinary people, which has impacted upon the support base of PMLN.
Earlier, Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah confirmed that Ishaq Dar will return to Pakistan next week. Dar, himself, had told Geo News in an interview that he will take oath as senator immediately after his return. The former finance minister said that he would will perform whatever duty was assigned to him by Nawaz and Shehbaz.
PM Shehbaz, 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 was scheduled to leave for Pakistan on Sunday.
Other than the decision on Ishaq 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 were 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.
Meanwhile, the top leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) will meet again today (Sunday) to decide if former finance minister Ishaq Dar will accompany Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif or not as the PM leaves for home today, Geo News reported. Ishaq Dar said PM Shehbaz and the PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif will make the decision today.
Ishaq Dar, speaking to reporters in London, said, “Since the earlier meeting was a family gathering, we will meet again today (Sunday).”
He said he has Wednesday’s reservation to return to Pakistan. But the final decision on whether to go back home with PM Shehbaz or not will be taken today, he added.