Government won’t disburse funds in violation of Constitution, says Dar

    Finance Minister terms SC order as unconstitutional; says two assemblies were dissolved to spread anarchy

    The Minister of Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar has said that the government will not disburse funds in contravention of the Constitution notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s ruling. The court order, according to him, was unconstitutional.

    Ishaq Dar said in his speech to the National Assembly that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) lacked the authority to release cash for elections. “What are you talking about elections, what elections? What will happen if elections are held in October,” he asked.

    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan disbanded two provincial assemblies just to bring about disorder and anarchy in the country, according to the finance minister.

    According to him, the Finance Ministry decided to bring the subject before the national Assembly under Article 81 (e) when it was presented before it. He said that the National Assembly had passed the resolution not to release the funds.

    Ishaq Dar said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) informed the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) that the expense of the general elections will exceed Rs61 billion. He said that the cost was decreased as a result of negotiations between the finance ministry and the ECP.

    He said that the administration would not provide funds in response to a court ruling. He also said that following the court ruling, the parliament had adopted a resolution in this respect. He said that the cabinet had underlined that the ruling of the Supreme Court was rejected by a majority of 4-3 from within.

    The Finance Minister said that Rs33 billion was spent by the Finance Ministry on the national census.

    He said that elections in Pakistan were postponed earlier as well. He further said that if the elections are postponed for four to five months, nothing will happen. He claimed that elections in Pakistan could not be held right now and that it would be best for the nation if they were held on the same day in October.

    Ishaq Dar further added that Pakistan made progress during Nawaz Sharif’s final term in office.

    He said that according to predictions, the nation was to rank among the top nations in the world by 2030. “The country would have been on a very different track of progress,” he claimed, “had the issues like the Panama leaks and the Dawn leaks not been raised.”

    The previous PTI-led administration was criticized by the Finance Minister for putting the country and its economy in danger. He said that if his suggestions had been followed five years ago, the situation would have been different.