PM Imran directs Hafeez Shaikh to continue as minister

Reposing full confidence in Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who had lost the Islamabad seat to Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) joint candidate Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani by five votes in the Senate elections, Prime Imran Khan on Saturday directed him to continue working as the finance minister.

In a one-on-one meeting with Shaikh after securing the vote of confidence in the National Assembly, the premier noted that the finance minister had played an important part in improving Pakistan’s economy.

Following Shaikh’s meeting with the premier, he decided not to hand in his resignation, according to media reports.

Shaikh was made the finance minister for six months as the government hoped that he would succeed in the Senate elections. However, following the defeat, he will not be able to continue as finance minister after June 11 and would have to continue as an adviser instead.

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According to sources, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is considering the possibility of making another attempt to get Shaikh elected as senator from Punjab by de-seating Senator-elect Ishaq Dar who has not taken oath of the office. They said that the key reason was Shaikh’s connections in the international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that are critical for Pakistan for the revival of the stalled bailout package.

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