Ishaq Dar
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Opposition parties, Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, asked Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday to resign. These demands came after his indictment by an accountability court in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference for keeping “assets beyond his known sources of income”.

After skipping his first hearing, for which summons had been issued, Dar appeared in court on Monday and again on Wednesday after bailable warrants for his arrest had been issued to ensure his presence.

Saleem Mandviwala on an earlier occasion has said this situation is destroying the trust that investors had in the country and told the media that he had received a telephone call from China asking if arrest warrants were issued for Finance Minister

The corruption reference, pertaining to Dar’s owning assets that are 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 corruption case.

This is not the first time Mr. Dar has faced the courts. His appearance in the court in early 2000, created difficulties for the Sharif family. Senator Dar’s handwritten statement, given before a magistrate on April 25, 2000, had alleged that Sharif brothers used the Hudaibya Paper Mills as cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.

Read more: Ishaq Dar indicted on Corruption Charges: Who will be Pakistan’s new…

Senator Ishaq Dar has always been regarded as one of the closest aides of the Sharif family and is also a relative as his son is married to Nawaz Sharif’s younger daughter.

Should Ishaq Dar resign?

For the past two weeks, since NAB sealed his accounts, the opposition parties and the media shows have been asking for his resignation. It has been argued that a finance minister cannot keep his position when he is under investigation for corruption. After his indictment by the Court, there is little room left for Mr. Dar to serve as the Finance Minister of the country, experts say.

The immediate resignation of Mr. Dar will ease pressure on the ruling party. It will also be beneficial for the country’s fragile economy and democracy in the country which according to PML-N is under the constant threat of other forces

“Ishaq Dar is the first finance minister in the country’s history for whom the court has issued arrest warrants,” said PPP Senator Salim Mandviwala at the news conference, also addressed by Farhatullah Babar, Sherry Rehman and Nayyar Bokhari.

Senator Salim Mandviwala, who is chairman of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance said “Arrest warrants are causing bad name to Pakistan, we will advise him to leave the office.”

Saleem Mandviwala on an earlier occasion has said this situation is destroying the trust that investors had in the country and told the media that he had received a telephone call from China asking if arrest warrants were issued for Finance Minister Dar.

Meanwhile, the PTI not only demanded Mr. Dar’s resignation but also called for putting the names of the finance minister and the members of the Sharif family on the Exit Control List.

A finance minister who is under corruption investigation cannot sit down on negotiations with national and international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and other international monetary organizations

Read more: Ishaq Dar trying desperately to land in Washington

Media sources also say that during Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s visit to London, Dar was not invited to a senior meeting held in which Nawaz, Maryam, and Abbasi were present, where the matter of Dar’s resignation was discussed and ‘agreed’ upon.

It is believed that Maryam is supporting his replacement by Miftah Ismail and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi may put forward the name of Ali Siddiqui, who is currently his advisor on finance and who has investments in Airblue along with Mr. Ababasi. Mr. Dar is said to be very disappointed by the lack of support from Nawaz Sharif and his daughter over the matter.

Indeed, the reluctance of Mr. Dar to resign from his ministry is of concern for his party but even more so for the country. A finance minister who is under corruption investigation cannot sit down on negotiations with national and international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and other international monetary organizations.

Read more: Love letter to Ishaq Dar from a fan

Media sources also say that during Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s visit to London, Dar was not invited to a senior meeting held in which Nawaz, Maryam, and Abbasi were present, where the matter of Dar’s resignation was discussed and ‘agreed’ upon

PML-N is already under pressure after the disqualification of former premier Nawaz Sharif. The results of NA-120 have proved that the popularity of the ruling party has been hit. Despite the PML-N victory, the margin of votes, failed to impress analysts, since this constituency has been a stronghold of Sharif family for over 40 years. The recent by-elections have rung alarm bells in the ruling party and have exacerbated tensions in its ranks.

The immediate resignation of Mr. Dar will ease pressure on the ruling party. It will also be beneficial for the country’s fragile economy and democracy in the country which according to PML-N is under the constant threat of other forces.

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