Ishaq Dar sworn in as senator amid PTI lawmakers protest

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: A senior PML-N leader, Ishaq Dar, who has returned to Pakistan after living five years in self-imposed exile in the UK and is set to take charge as the finance minister, took oath as a senator on Tuesday.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani administered the oath to Ishaq Dar. PTI members tore the copies of the agenda of the meeting to register their protest and also surrounded the dais and chanted slogans.

Dar was elected to the Upper House of the Parliament on a technocrat seat in the elections held on March 3, which was notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan on March 9, 2018.

Ishaq Dar reached Pakistan earlier this week along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after an exile of more than five years. In February this year, Dar had requested Senate chairman to virtually administer the oath in the wake of restoration of his election notification, but his request was turned down.

Leader of the House in Senate, Azam Nazir Tarar welcomed the PML-N stalwart and expressed the hope that Dar would steer the country out of economic challenges.

He urged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members to respect law as the accountability court had suspended the permanent arrest warrants of Ishaq Dar till October 7, in a reference pertaining to holding of assets beyond known sources of income.

Blaming the hundi and hawala businesses, Dar said the rupee’s value had been kept low artificially, adding such practices could not hold the local currency hostage.

In a question-and-answer break during the Senate session, Dar said the US dollar depreciated by around Rs10 against the rupee since he landed in the country, stating that one of the problems faced by the country was the artificial depreciation of the rupee. “Inflation is also high,” he said listing the issues that the coalition government has to fix.

Referring to the winning streak of the rupee in the market, the PML-N leader said the country’s debt reduced by Rs1,350 billion in less than 24 hours.

He also stressed the need for amendments to the previous finance bill. “I have returned to my country by the grace of God. I will try my best to pull Pakistan out of the [economic] maelstrom it is surrounded with,” Dar had said earlier.

He shared that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and the PM have handed over the responsibility of the finance ministry to him. “[We] pulled Pakistan out of an economic maelstrom back in 1998 and 2013,” the incoming finance minister said.

Dar has returned to “facilitate” the government in its efforts to resurrect the cash-strapped economy by taking over the key portfolio of the finance ministry.

Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday warned he would obstruct PML-N leader Ishaq Dar’s plans, saying Pakistan’s treasury was being handed over to someone who had been an “absconder for the last five years”.

Speaking at Ulema and Mashaikh Convention in Peshawar, the former prime minister alleged Dar had made a deal under NRO before returning to Pakistan. “It is unfortunate that the justice system could not stop Ishaq Dar,” he added. “A fugitive, after stealing billions of

rupees, was roaming freely abroad and was taking decisions for Pakistan.”