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Miftah blames Dar for running campaign against him

Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail (L) and Finance minister Ishaq Dar.  —AFP/Screengrab/BBC/File
Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail (L) and Finance minister Ishaq Dar.  —AFP/Screengrab/BBC/File

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail has blamed his successor Ishaq Dar for running campaigns against him for over six months, saying that the latter could not tolerate someone else from the party on finance minister’s post. 

Ismail’s comments came during a podcast on a YouTube channel on Wednesday, where he said Dar appeared on TV channels and claimed that he would bring down the dollar rate to Rs160. The former finance minister also claimed that Ishaq Dar even asked anchors to tweet against him (Miftah) and host TV programmes.

As per Miftah Ismail, Dar is closer to Nawaz Sharif because his son is married to the PML-N supremo’s daughter and was with him in London. He added that Dar used to tell Nawaz that he would bring the dollar rate and petroleum prices down.

Miftah added that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was satisfied with his performance and did not want to replace him. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal was restored, and default risk had also minimised in my tenure, he said.

The former minister added that even though it was the PM’s prerogative to remove him, the way it was done was not respectful. “Nawaz Sharif called me to London and told me in front of 12 people that I’m being replaced,” Miftah lamented.

On a question regarding Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, Miftah said that there is no doubt that Imran is a good politician and no one is close to him when it comes to political strategy and narrative building.

However, he added that Imran lacks policy-making skills, adding that Imran wants to be the PM badly but does not know what to do after becoming the premier.

Miftah-Dar row

This is not the first time the two PML-N leaders have openly confronted each other. Dar and Miftah have been in a verbal war since Miftah took over as the finance minister in April.

Earlier in October, Miftah took a jab at Dar for slashing the petrol price by Rs12.63 per litre.

In a tweet, the former finance minister expressed his displeasure over the government’s decision not to increase the petroleum development levy (PDL) without IMF approval and termed it “reckless”.

In response to the tweet, Dar said in the Geo News programme “Capital Talk” that Miftah should not worry about the IMF deal as now he has to deal with the lender.

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