Dar returns after five years in exile

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Senior PML-N leader Ishaq Dar returned to Pakistan on Monday night after an exile of more than five years. The former minister landed at the Nur Khan airbase in Chaklala, Rawalpindi. He accompanied Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his trip back to the country from London.
Talking to reporters after landing, Dar said that PML-N Supremo Nawaz Sharif and the premier had tasked him to take over the portfolio of the Finance Minister.
“I will try my best to fulfill all the responsibilities. We will try to take out the country from the economic swap it is stuck in the way we did in 1998-1999 and 2013-2014.” Dar further expressed hope that “we will now head in a positive direction”.
The senator-elect is expected to take oath of the Upper House of Parliament today (Tuesday) to become the new financial czar of the country.
Outgoing finance minister Miftah Ismail and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, who were part of the PM’s delegation, have also returned home. PM Shehbaz and his delegation arrived in Islamabad from London in a special plane.
The premier, who had gone to the UK to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, had met his elder brother in London to discuss key political issues before departing to the US to attend the UN General Assembly session.
After the UNGA session, PM Shehbaz returned to London again and had a long meeting with his brother and Dar, who had left for the UK in October 2017 while he was standing trial in a corruption reference.
A day earlier, Finance Minister Miftah announced stepping down from his post following an important PML-N meeting which was held under the chairmanship of party supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in London. Miftah submitted his resignation to the PML-N supreme leader, saying the ministry was entrusted to him by the party.
“I worked to the best of my ability for four months, and remained loyal to the party and the country,” a PML-N statement quoted Miftah as saying during the meeting. During the huddle, PM Shehbaz and party supremo Nawaz nominated Dar as the new finance minister of the country.