After five years, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar returned to the country with the challenging task of steering the country’s economy in a ’positive direction.“
He is expected to first take oath as a member of the Senate and then as the federal finance minister on Tuesday.
Upon landing on Pakistani soil at the Nur Khan Air Base, having hitched a ride with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Dar’s first words on home turf reflected the enormity of the task ahead.
“I will try my best to try and get Pakistan out of the current economic quagmire,” he said, adding that his party’s founder Nawaz Sharif and his brother, the current prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, had both tasked him with taking over as the next finance minister of the country and play what is referred to as “Daronomics” to steer the country out of the economic doldrums it finds itself in.
And his track record is one that Dar did not forget to mention after landing in Islamabad.
“Just as we had done in 1998 and 2014,” he said.
“I am optimistic we will move in a positive trajectory,” he added.
Earlier, after exiting the aircraft, he beamed, “I have returned to my country.”
Dar had been in self-exile in England in the aftermath of the cases lodged against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of the Panama Papers revelations and subsequent successful prosecution on several counts.
Officially, he had traveled to London to seek medical treatment. Thereafter, when he was declared an absconder by the court, his passport was cancelled, and his name was placed in passport control - which Dar claimed prevented him from obtaining a passport to travel to Pakistan.
But with that roadblock recently addressed, Dar also withdrew a petition from the Supreme Court and requested the accountability court, which had issued the arrest warrants against Dar and initiated proceedings leading to him being declared an absconder, to not arrest him as he was interested in facing the courts.
Dar maintains the case against him in the accountability court is of political victimization rather than a case targeting his alleged tax evasion.
A source inside the ruling party said that Dar is expected to first take oath as a member of the upper house of parliament. Thereafter, he will take oath as the country’s new finance minister.
Both of these events are expected to take place on Tuesday (tomorrow) as federal finance minister Miftah Ismail has already submitted his resignation to the prime minister in London in anticipation of Dar’s impending arrival.
Earlier speaking to the media before returning home from London, Ishaq Dar said that the case against him was fake, reiterating that he never delayed filing his income tax returns.
“Thank God that I am coming back the same office what I left for my medical treatment,” he said.
Ishaq Dar further said that the country went through in four years is not hidden from anyone, we need to manage our economy and make it in the right direction.
“I will do all steps to take the declining economy towards improvement,” he said.
On the other hand, former prime minister Imran Khan declared Dar’s return is a result of the deal.