Pakistan: Finance minister sacked amid rising inflation

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KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday removed Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh from office amid rising inflation in the country.

Speaking to reporters, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar will be leading Khan’s new finance team.
According to Faraz, Khan decided to bring in a new finance team in view of “the inflation that had taken place”.

This came weeks after Shaikh, a former IMF employee, conceded a surprise defeat at the hands of a former prime minister and a joint opposition candidate, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Appointed in 2019 as prime minister’s advisor on finance, Shaikh has been under severe criticism for inflation, and a hike in petroleum, gas, and electricity prices, a key demand by the IMF for a $6 billion financial package to prop up the country’s tottering economy.

He was promoted as a full-fledged minister last year.

Since Shaikh failed to become an elected lawmaker following his defeat in the Senate elections, he could not continue as a minister.

According to the Constitution, the premier can appoint any unelected representative as a minister for six months only.

Khan’s new choice, Azhar, is a graduate in economy from the University of London and has long been serving as the industries and production minister.

He is the third finance minister since Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party came into power in 2018.

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