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Miftah Ismail resigns as finance minister amid economic crisis

Hours after purported ruling party leaders' audio leaks, Miftah Ismail steps down for former Finance Minister Dar to take charge

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Amid the economic crisis facing the country, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail resigned hours after an alleged conversation between top ruling party leaders against him surfaced on social media.

“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,” he tweeted late Sunday after a meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s leader Nawaz Sharif in London.

It has been an honor to serve twice as a finance minister, Ismail said. However, he did not talk about the alleged conversation against him.

The news came just hours after several audio recordings reportedly between Prime Minister Sharif and his cabinet ministers surfaced on social media.

One of the audio clips purportedly features a conversation between the ruling party’s Vice President Maryam Nawaz and Premier Shehbaz Sharif about Ismail, wherein a voice thought to be of Maryam says Miftah Ismail “doesn’t know what he is doing” and wishes for the return of a former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, daily Dawn reported.

Read more: Dar may assume finance minister’s portfolio: Sanaullah

Nawaz Sharif nominated his close aide, Ishaq Dar, to take charge of the ministry as he is expected to arrive on Monday along with Premier Shehbaz Sharif from London.

In December 2020, the Islamabad High Court declared Nawaz Sharif an “absconder” in corruption cases after he failed to appear before the court.

In November 2019, the Lahore High Court granted four-week permission to the former three-time premier to travel abroad on medical grounds. However, he is still in London.

Dar has been living in London since 2017 after being declared an absconder by the accountability court in a corruption case.

Read more: PML-N leader Ishaq Dar gets jail-free card

The court was also issued his arrest warrant, however, on Friday, an accountability court in the capital Islamabad suspended his arrest warrant and allowed him to come back and appear before the court next month.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk