‘Conditional loyalty is business’, Asif hits out at Miftah over criticism on economy

Defence minister reminds ex-finance minister of good times, saying “there is no justification for targeting party”

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Defence Minister Khawaja Asif (Left) and former finance minister Miftah Ismail. — APP/Reuters/File
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif (Left) and former finance minister Miftah Ismail. — APP/Reuters/File
  • Asif asks Miftah to take party into confidence over suggestions.
  • Minister says economic situation can't afford Miftah’s criticism. 
  • "PML-N twice 'awarded' you finance ministry", Asif reminds Miftah.


Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has taken a swipe at former finance minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail over his criticism against the government’s economic policies, saying “loyalty becomes business when it is conditional”.

Since being replaced by his party colleague Senator Ishaq Dar as finance minister in September last year, Miftah has been criticising the incumbent government’s economic policies.

The former financial czar has also held Dar’s policies responsible for the delay in the revival of stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and raised concerns that the country was heading towards default.

“Dear brother Miftah Ismail, we hear your comments on the economic conditions of Pakistan ever since you resigned from the ministry. He [Miftah] is a part of PML-N, the party can directly benefit from his knowledge, his ability is unquestionable,” the defence minister said in a detailed statement on his Twitter handle.

Asif said the current economic situation could not afford Miftah’s criticism against the government’s policies in TV shows.

“His suggestions can also be useful for the government if he also takes the party into confidence and remembers the good times and association [with the party],” the federal minister added.

He also reminded the ex-finance minister that the PML-N twice “awarded” him the finance ministry.

“There may be a grievance to remove him from the ministry, but there is no justification for targeting the party,” the PML-N senior leader said.

Asif said honourable politicians are vindicated after they endured tough times.

“Loyalty becomes business when it is conditional. I'm sorry, I had to resort to social media because the series of criticism has become a media limelight,” he added.

During his tenure at the Q Block, Miftah Ismail, a PhD in economics from Wharton School, took some important and tough decisions that convinced the IMF to release nearly $2 billion which was pending due to the stalled bailout programme signed in 2019 by the PTI government.

He was appreciated for his hard work by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in reviving the much-needed loan programme.