Saturday, November 18, 2017

In light of Dar's health, Finance Ministry portfolio with prime minister: PM House

ISLAMABAD: Reports of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar's resignation circulated on Saturday morning, claiming he had sent his resignation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. 

However, credible sources inside the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) denied the reports terming them mere rumours. 

Later Prime minister house spokesperson Musadik Malik cleared the confusion stating that in light of Ishaq Dar's health and him seeking treatment abroad, as per cabinet rules, the finance ministry portfolio had already come under the prime minister's control.

The spokesman added that the prime minister was taking regular briefings on matters of finance and was managing the portfolio efficiently. 

Prior to the PM House spokesperson's clarification, a highly credible source told Geo News that while there are options available to Dar there is no resignation at this stage.

Earlier, Geo News had reported that Dar had taken the decision to resign as finance minister.

Resignation reports baseless: Info minister

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in a media talk today said that reports of Dar's resignation are baseless and he would announce the news if and when he plans to resign.

"Demanding resignation from Dar is the prerogative of the prime minister," she added.

Corruption reference 

A corruption reference pertaining to Dar's owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income was filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court's July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case.

The accountability court hearing the corruption case against Dar — who is in London to receive medical treatment for his heart condition — issued non-bailable warrants after the minister failed to appear in court for the fourth time on November 14.

The court also issued a notice to Dar’s guarantor for failing to ensure the presence of the minister and adjourned the hearing until November 21.

The anti-graft body has also announced that it would reinvestigate Dar in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case. 

Editorial Note: Earlier, Geo News had reported that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had resigned from his post. However, those reports were incorrect. The error is regretted.