Pakistan new finance minister: The return of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar as Pakistan new finance minister is an attempt to strengthen former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s faction in the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government. The developments suggest that Pakistan’s military establishment may have improved relations with the Sharif brothers and may be allowed to complete the remaining term of the coalition government by July next year.
With Dar’s return to the country, it is widely speculated that Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan soon. For the Imran Khan-led opposition, the appointment of Dar as Pakistan new finance minister and reports of Nawaz’s return will further boost their agitation against the selected PDM coalition. This will further increase political instability in Pakistan.
Dar’s appointment comes after months of economic uncertainty in Pakistan due to the devaluation of the rupee and crippling inflation. The army establishment is concerned about the country’s deteriorating economic situation amid rising political instability as former prime minister Imran Khan remains the most popular leader in Pakistan and seeks early general elections.
In addition, the recent floods in many parts of Pakistan will cause the government to face further economic crises amid food shortages and a higher likelihood of fuel prices rising. The Pakistani government estimates that economic damage and reconstruction costs at least US$30 billion, or about 10 percent of the country’s GDP. Given these developments, Rawalpindi feels that the Sharif brothers, their allies, and old defenders of Pakistan’s politics such as the Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) can bring short-term stability to the country’s faltering economy.
However, Imran Khan’s agitation against the elected government and the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan could present major challenges to the ruling PDM coalition and the security establishment in the coming months.
Apart from this, General Qamar Javed Bajwa is going to retire in November this year. It will take some time for the new chief to understand everything and he may formulate a different policy to handle the issues. However, there is speculation that General Bajwa is seeking outside support to extend his term on the pretext of providing political and security stability in the country, which has been beset with multiple allegations and failures.
Nevertheless, Dar’s return to Pakistan indicates that the military establishment is still dependent on well-known political actors after a failed hybrid regime experiment. Ishaq Dar has been appointed Pakistan new finance minister for six months. After Miftah Ismail handled economic issues under the PDM government. Ismail managed to secure a USD 1.17 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to prevent near-term defaults.
This is the fourth time that Dar has been appointed as the finance minister of Pakistan. He belongs to the Nawaz Sharif faction of the PML-N and belongs to the Sharif family. Dar is Pakistan’s sixth finance minister in the last four years. He returned after five years of self-imposed exile in London following corruption charges. In 2017, Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a case against Dar for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
At a public meeting last week, Imran Khan called Dar Pakistan’s biggest thug. And alleged that he was brought back under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). An amnesty against corruption, deal. Meanwhile, senators of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) called Dar a fugitive (absconding). And showed placards in Parliament on September 27 to protest his appointment.
In 2014, Dar said that Pakistan was going to become the 18th strongest economy in the world by 2050. But the country is now looking at a potential default crisis. And a complete failure of the economy, aggravated by the floods. The PDM government has predicted that the recent floods could reduce the country. Economic growth rate to less than 3 percent. Down from the projected 5 percent for FY 2022-23.
Dar has favored a strong posture in his previous tenures as finance minister in 1998-99, 2008, and 2013-17. Dar has already made his intentions clear that he will work to rein in inflation by cutting interest rates. Saying the rupee’s currency is undervalue. And was undervalue due to the country’s worst economic crisis. promises a strong response. On 4 October, Dar criticized former finance minister Miftah Ismail and said that he had been influences by his policies.
The two main members of the PDM alliance, the PML-N and the PPP are trying to formulate. People-centric policies before the next general election. But for Dar and other PDM leaders. Stabilizing Pakistan’s faltering economy will be a huge task. Especially after the recent floods.
Moreover, Imran Khan is trying to take advantage of the internal differences of the PDM government. And the growing impatience among the population over the rise in prices and record-level inflation. The only saving grace for the PDM alliance is the visible support from the military establishment. However, it is not clear how long this support could last. Considering the new army chief is likely to take over in November.