Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Muhammad Ishaq Dar

Muhammad Ishaq Dar is the former Finance Minister of Pakistan and Minister for Economic Affairs and Statistics in the PM Yousaf Raza Gillani cabinet. He also served as the Commerce and Finance Minister in the Nawaz Sharif cabinet of 1997-1999. Ishaq Dar was assigned the finance ministry when Sartaj Aziz was posted as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan in 1998. Dar continued on the post till the Sharif government''s overthrow by the military coup of General Pervez Musharraf. Ishaq Dar is also a central leader of PML-N and the parliamentary leader of PML-N in the current Senate session of 2006-2009. He was elected for the only time in the National Assembly in the 1997 general elections, when he won the NA-97 Lahore-VI general seat.

Dars economic policy achievement in the Sharif government was export-led growth as a cornerstone of economic strategy. Being made the finance minister in November 1998, he negotiated an IMF rescue package to meet an economic crisis triggered by sanctions over nuclear tests in May that year. The head of a state-run bank later proclaimed that Whether you call it voodoo economics or Darnomics, he has moved things,referring Darnomics as the unique working of Ishaq Dar when he refused to accept a devaluation or a rise in utility charges or tax rates.

For the 2008 government formation and search for the post of Finance Minister, the coalition partners PML-N and PPP are mulling over PML-N''s Ishaq Dar or PPP''s Naveed Qamar to be the new head of Finance Ministry. But whoever gets the job will have to deal with widening budget and trade deficits in an economy pressured by rising international oil prices and chronic shortages of energy and staples.

He finally won over Naveed Qamar when he was slated to become the Finance Minister in the coalition government of PPP, PML-N, ANP and JUI-F formed after 2008 elections. Naveed Qamar, on the other hand, will be the new Minister for Privatization and Investment, with additional portfolio of Minister for Ports and Shipping.

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