Thursday Feb 02, 2023
Pakistan’s renowned economist Atif Mian on Wednesday praised Miftah Ismail on his responsibilities as a finance minister, saying: "He was the only person who spoke the truth to his people while in a position of power."
In a webinar hosted by a US-based think-tank The Brookings Institution, the financial expert while discussing Pakistan’s economy highlighted the structural flaws and incompetency in running the economic matters of the country.
"What other people do is shift the blame to previous governments regarding financial mismanagement and deceiving their masses. On the contrary, Miftah told the people about the situation as it was."
Mian added, "He [Miftah] actually showed that he cared about the people. Most importantly, he put the country before the party and politics."
It does not matter how long you stay on the job, the important is how you deal with it, the well-known economist further said.
Miftah Ismail was appointed as a financial czar after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) assumed power in April last year. Later on, he was criticised for his handling of the economy.
He stepped down from the post in September 2022 at the decision of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Miftah took to his official Twitter handle and wrote: "In a meeting with Mian Nawaz Sharif and PM Shehbaz Sharif today, I have verbally resigned as finance minister. I will tender a formal resignation upon reaching Pakistan. It’s been an honour to serve twice as finance minister. Pakistan Paindabad."
After resigning, Miftah thanked Nawaz and said that over the last four months, he performed to the best of his abilities and remained loyal to his party as well as the country.
While accepting his resignation, Nawaz praised Miftah's efforts and the way he carried out his duties at a time when the country was facing an economic crisis.
Since his stepping down, Miftah has been criticising the economic policies of the incumbent government, saying: "The country is being run under the direction of the 1% elite."
Miftah Ismail was replaced by Senator Ishaq Dar — who was in exile for five years — and is currently serving as a finance minister.
Under Dar, according to reports, the economy of Pakistan further deteriorated and the foreign exchange reserves depleted, taking the economy to the verge of default.
Currently, the coalition government is in negotiation with the IMF whose delegation arrived in Pakistan to discuss the bailout package to rescue the country's economy.