Asad Umar Decides to Resign from the Post of Finance Minister

Oscar PerryApr 20, 2019

Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar stepped down from the cabinet after Prime Minister Imran Khan attempted to move him to the government's energy portfolio as the country continues to negotiate an International Monetary Fund bailout.

It all began on Thursday with the key decision to remove Asad Umar as finance minister who was facing mounting criticism in the recent weeks over the state of the country's economy.

Notably, the portfolio was so far kept by Prime Minister Khan himself.

Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, a U.S-educated economist who worked at Harvard University, also spent many years working for the World Bank and had also been the privatisation minister during the government of former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf.

According to the first notification, Dr Shaikh will serve as Adviser to the Prime Minister with the status of Federal Minister with immediate effect.

On Thursday morning, Asad Umar took on Twitter and announced that he is leaving the Finance Minister's post.

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"As part of a cabinet reshuffle, [the] prime minister desired that I take the energy portfolio instead of finance", Umar had said.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Azam Swati, who resigned a year ago, has been appointed as minister for parliamentary affairs. Reportedly, Sarwar had threatened to quit the party if removed from the cabinet.

Minister of State for Interior Shaheryar Afridi has been made Minister of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON).

Another major change in the cabinet was that of minister for petroleum and natural resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who has now been given the charge of the aviation division.

Firdous Ashiq Awan has been appointed as PM's special assistant on media affairs while former information minister Fawad Chaudhry will now head Science and Technology Ministry.

Nadeem Babar, who is now the chairman of the Task Force on Energy, has been made the PM's special assistant on petroleum division. The notice also stated that Swati was administered the oath of office by the president on April 19.

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