With rumours rife of the return of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s economic wizard Ishaq Dar, cracks have emerged within the ranks of the party as Defence Minister Khawaja Asif came out in support of Finance Minister Miftah Ismail after the former hinted that he was facing criticism within the party.
Earlier, the finance minister said that he was “not supposed to” appear on national television the night before to announce a hike in the prices of petroleum products but he did so after being asked by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. His comments came after a clip of his appearance on a television show was shared on social media. However, the defence minister appreciated his colleague for executing his duties “under difficult circumstances” and called him one of the “hardest working” members of PM Shehbaz’s team. “FM Miftah is among the hardest working members of PM’s team, accessible to all stakeholders. He is performing well under difficult circumstances, with immense criticism from vested interests, including, from within PML-N. Time to show solidarity with Miftah,” tweeted the defence minister.
Hours after Asif’s tweet, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also came out in Miftah’s support. “Miftah Ismail’s knowledge of economics and the Pakistan economy is without parallel in Pakistan politics today. He is one of the most effective members of PM’s cabinet,” said the former prime minister.