Shahid Hafiz Kardar is learnt to have rebuffed calls to take back his resignation as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and has instead asked for an end to the discussions surrounding his departure, but despite a week having elapsed since he resigned, the government has not yet decided its future course of action.
Kardar, who resigned last Monday, has been adamant about the finality of his resignation while uncertainty prevails in the fixed income market over the stabilisation of the economy and the fate of talks with the International Monetary Fund, originally scheduled for the third week of July.
While the government ponders its next move, the country is stuck in a low-growth, high-inflation, rising debt rut.
Media reports earlier suggested that Kardar had agreed to withdraw his resignation after meeting with Prime Minister Gilani in Islamabad on Saturday.
Sources close to Kardar, however, say he neither had a meeting with the prime minister nor has he received any calls from the PM House. Kardar has refused to resume his duties despite a formal request, adding that the reasons that compelled him to resign persist.
He feels it is better to bid farewell for good now instead of creating ripples again a few months later, observers said.
“If sense prevailed, he would return,” said another federal government official.
Kardar’s time in office has been marked by sharp policy differences between the finance ministry and the central bank, a relationship that can be testy in the best of times.
Yet Kardar made it a point to publicly speak out against the government’s fiscal policies during every single bimonthly monetary policy announcement made by the central bank.
Aspirants start lobbying
While the government mulls over the situation, aspirants for the position of governor SBP have already started lobbying for the prestigious post.
The names of a US permanent resident, a top bureaucrat in the federal government and a friend of the president have been mentioned as possible replacements.
The top bureaucrat has established links to the top office at the Constitution Avenue, said sources privy to the developments.
Meanwhile on Friday, the president’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar told The Express Tribune that “Kardar’s resignation had not been formally received in the Presidency.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2011.