ANI Photo | Pakistan: PML-N senior leader Ishaq Dar out of Finance minister race

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Ishaq Dar is out of the race to become the new Finance Minister, ARY News reported, citing sources.
Following discussions with his brother, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif finalised the members for the federal cabinet.
Ishaq Dar, a four-time Finance Minister considered close to the Sharif family, will take over as the Foreign Minister, according to ARY News.
However, the ruling party is yet to finalise its pick for the Finance Ministry, the report said, adding that the holder of the portfolio will have to get down to task and lead an immediate effort to negotiate a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.
Notably, Pakistan has a narrow path to recovery as the current IMF agreement expires on April 11.
According to sources, renowned bankers Muhammad Aurangzeb Khan and Shamshad Akhtar are likely to become advisers to the Prime Minister on finance and revenue.
According to reports, Akhtar was an integral part of the recent caretaker government, which was praised by the IMF for “decisive policy efforts” to maintain stability.
Meanwhile, ARY News reported, citing sources that Khawaja Muhammad Asif would retain charge of the Defence Ministry.
Ahsan Iqbal is also in line to become the Planning Minister while Ataullah Tarar and Musadik Malik could take over the Information and Energy portfolios.
Jalil Abbas Jilani and Tariq Fatemi are likely to be named advisers and special assistants on foreign affairs, according to the report.
Former Punjab chief minister Mohsin Naqvi will be appointed adviser to the interior ministry, the report claimed.
Significantly, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), a key ally in the coalition government, had expressed opposition to the appointment of Ishaq Dar as the Finance Minister, ARY News reported.
Earlier, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif directed PM Shehbaz Sharif to keep the federal cabinet small in the initial phase, reported ARY News.
During a meeting on Sunday, PM Shehbaz Sharif tabled the proposed names for the federal cabinet.

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