Sep 242017

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday appeared before an accountability court to record his statement in connection with “investigations against him for the accumulation of assets and funds beyond known sources of income”. The court, while supplying copies of the reference and other material consisting of 23 volumes to Dar, set September 27 as the date to indict the finance minister. Finance czar: Double whammy for Ishaq Dar In compliance with the earlier issued bailable arrest warrants, Dar’s counsel submitted bonds worth Rs1 million. Further, the court ordered the federal minister to submit Rs5 million to ensure his presence in the trial. Last week, the accountability court issued bailable arrest warrants against Dar. During the hearing, Dar’s staff officer Fazal Dad informed the court that summons had been received and the finance minister was aware of the case, however, he was in London on a private visit. “His seat was confirmed and he had to return but he couldn’t,” the official said.   The post Ishaq Dar to be indicted on Sept 27 appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Jul 032017

A visibly distressed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar wiping sweat off his face with a handkerchief after being interrogated in the Panama Papers case was just what political rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan needed to take a dig at him. Talking to reporters outside the Federal Judicial Academy, Dar had called Imran “a coward and gambler, who’s involved in tax evasion”, saying “his assets should be scrutinised to find out how he became rich overnight.” “A picture is worth a thousand words! Guilt written all over his face,” Imran tweeted minutes later. A picture is worth a thousand words! Guilt written all over his face. — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 3, 2017 And no amount of hysterical gutter language is going to get him off the hook. — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 3, 2017 The PTI chairman also hit out at Dar for his remarks relating to donations for Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, saying: But Sharifs & henchmen don't care abt fate of poor patients in Pakistan because they rush off abroad even for mere checkups. — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 3, 2017 Even in wars hospitals are not targeted by enemy but here Sharifs & their henchmen targeting SKMTCH providing cancer treatment for the poor — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 3, 2017 Lastly, Imran put up a ‘happy’ picture of himself accompanied by party leader Jehangir Tareen and others. When there is no guilt it shows on the faces — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 3, 2017 In his media talk, Dar had downplayed [Read More…]

Apr 212017

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday assured that Pakistan’s nuclear assets are completely safe. “Pakistan’s command and control system as well as nuclear safety regime remain robust and are at par with international standards,” he said in response to a question at an event arranged by the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC. “In fact, Pakistan is providing nuclear security training to regional countries at its Centre for Excellence for nuclear security.” Pakistan calls for nuclear restraint in South Asia Delivering a keynote address at the event titled ‘Pakistan’s Economic Reforms: It’s Quest for Investment, Prospects for Development & Social Change’, Dar stressed that Pakistan and the United States are longstanding friends, partners and strategic allies. “They have enjoyed a strong long-term and broad bilateral partnership with many shared interests. Both countries have worked closely to counter terrorism and to ensure peace and stability in the region,” he said. He emphasised that Pakistan is looking forward to working closely with the new US Administration and has already had some very promising interactions with it. Dar said his government is vigorously pursuing a 4Es (energy, economy, elimination of extremism and education) strategy. Referring to the markedly improved security in the country, he said economic progress is inextricably linked with peace. US envoy appreciates Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad for eliminating terrorism “Given the countless sacrifices our people have made, and continue to make every day in the fight against terrorism and extremism, it would be fair to say that no one understands and appreciates the [Read More…]

Dec 282016
Not on track

This refers to the news report ‘Dar says economy to stay on track’ (Dec 27). While all seems okay for the finance minister, independent economists have just the opposite views about the country’s economy. Ishaq Dar chose to avoid naming the positive indicators except the reserves built up through borrowings which also now are on the decline.  Stagnant agriculture and industrial output, falling exports, rising imports, alarming trade gap, decreasing remittances, steep drop in FDI, increase in profit repatriation, higher debt servicing,  large external account deficit and ballooning foreign and domestic debt are signs of struggling economy under serious pressure from all sides. The fact is that the government has no solution to the brewing economic crises and is unable to halt the continuing slide.  Huma Arif Karachi

Dec 182016

This refers to the news report ‘Forex reserves drop to $23.2 billion’ (Dec 16).If this rate of drop continues, the free reserves held by the SBP would be wiped out by 2018. The net revenue collection is also much below target and the rupee fiscal position is becoming serious because of shortfall in tax collection and significantly higher non development expenditure. Notwithstanding this developing situation, the minister for finance, Ishaq Dar, has the audacity to say that ‘today all economic indicators were positive’ and ‘macro-economic stability has been achieved’. Is this not a blatant lie? Huma Karachi

Nov 152016

ISLAMABAD: Cable operators in the country are all set to cross swords with the electronic media watchdog over its decision to introduce Direct-to-Home (DTH) service. They have decided to go on strike if the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) did not accept their demand of postponing the process of introducing the DTH service by Friday. Addressing a press conference at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Cable Operators Association chairman Khalid Arain said: “They (cable operators) were planning to go on strike from today (Tuesday), but had to postpone it after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar assured the Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBA) of resolving the issue on a war footing.” “The launch of DTH was not justified since the cable operators have invested billions of rupees in converting the analogue cable system into the digital one,” he said, adding, “It will also ruin their business and cause a huge economic loss.” “We need at least three years to create awareness among people about the cable digitalisation. The introduction of DTH will not provide us the opportunity to promote it.” Arain said the Cable Operators Association will announce their future course of action after holding talks with the finance minister. “If by Friday Pemra turned down their demand of delaying the introduction of the Pakistani DTH service, they will go on strike,” he said, adding, “they hope that the finance minister will address their concerns.” Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2016. The post Digital vs analogue: Cable operators threaten strike [Read More…]