Ahsan Iqbal all set to wear three hats

Ishaq Dar is on his way out; may refuse to return to Pakistan

Naveed Miraj November 15, 2017
Ahsan Iqbal and Ishaq Dar. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Ishaq Dar’s days as minister of finance may be numbered as Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is about to replace him with Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

“A notification in order to give additional charge of the finance ministry to Iqbal is expected to be issued shortly,” sources in the Prime Minister office told Daily Express on the condition of anonymity.

Iqbal already has a lot on his plate as he is the incumbent interior minister and is also at the helm of the Ministry of Planning and Development.

Non-bailable arrest warrant out for Dar

Sources said the decision to replace Dar comes because he has become ineffective as a minister since the opening of the accountability reference against him after the Supreme Court’s Panama Papers judgment.

The sources said that in a recent meeting at Jati Umra, Nawaz Sharif was joined by Abbasi, and despite the latter’s persistence to get approval for the change, Sharif refused. However, the sources maintained that after the reopening of the Hudabiya Paper Mills case, where Dar is a co-accused, it is unlikely that he would be able to perform his duties.

NAB calls for strict freeze on Dar’s assets

Meanwhile, reports from London suggest that Dar is unlikely to return to face trial. The court has issued non-bailable warrants in the reference against him.

If Iqbal gets the nod to become finance minister, rumours of Dar’s reluctance to return may be confirmed.

Dar is facing trial for allegedly living beyond his known means of income.

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