Dar’s success to ‘pave way’ for Nawaz’s return

Party sources say under Dar’s finance ministry more steps to contain inflation will be in the offing


Rameez Khan September 28, 2022
A file photo of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. PHOTO: INP

LAHORE:

Ishaq Dar, who is slated to take oath as the country’s new finance minister on Wednesday (today), has a major mission: to improve the economy that would turn things around for the government and pave the way for the return of Nawaz Sharif, sources have revealed.

According to a well-placed source, by turning around the economy, aimed at providing immediate relief to the masses from a storm of inflation, Dar would help pave the way for the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo to return to Pakistan from London.

The source, who spoke to The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity on Tuesday, said that PML-N Quaid would return to the country when the party had something to show its performance to the general public.

“With the kind of inflation and price hike, currently prevailing in the country, his [Nawaz’s] return will not provide any stimulus to the party workers and the voters,” the source said. “His return without quick-fixing the economy may prove to be counterproductive.”

The sources said that Dar had been tasked with bringing down the dollar against the rupee – ideally close to Rs190 – which would enable the government to bring down the prices of fuel and ultimately the prices of essential commodities.

With Dar at the helm of the national economy, the sources said, other measures to bring down inflation would also be in the offing, which could include a tight control over markets and an enabling environment for industries to enhance export portfolios.

“Most important will be the efforts to bargain for some concessions from the IMF [International Monetary Fund] in view of the massive floods in the country,” another source told The Express Tribune.

The source further said that Dar had been given full autonomy to take decisions to improve the economy, adding that consultations had been held with all the parties in the ruling coalition in this regard.

“Once, all this is achieved, once immediate relief is secured, Mian Nawaz Sharif will make his return,” the source said. “Mian Nawaz Sharif will return as a victor to cash in on the situation, and help the party win back the swing voters it has lost to PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf].”

The sources praised the former finance minister Miftah Ismail, who “took one for the team” by taking difficult decisions to steer the country away from the precipice of default. They added that Dar had returned when Ismail’s “difficult decisions are nearing fruition”.

“Miftah’s had his own shortcomings but still he did a fine job. Ishaq Dar, on the other hand, is a much-experienced hand, who will take bold decisions, knowing that he has the authority to do so.”

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