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Asad Umar resigns as finance minister

Says he still believes in Naya Pakistan and PM Khan

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 18, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Apr 18, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Asad Umar resigns as finance minister

Photo: FILE

Asad Umar has decided to resign as Pakistan’s finance minister.

He announced his decision on Twitter and said that though he was offered the post of energy minister, he has decided not to take it. Umar has received a lot of criticism following his handling of the country’s financial position.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had on April 15 denied news of any cabinet reshuffle.

The names of economist and former chairperson of the Planning Commission’s Panel of Economists Hafeez Pasha, former State Bank of Pakistan president and incumbent Adviser on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Hussain and Federal Minister for Power Umar Ayub Khan are being circulated as possible replacements for Umar. Khan has reportedly been summoned to PM House.

PM Khan has summoned a meeting with Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar and Asad Umar.

Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday, Umar said that Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted him to take over as energy minister but he didn’t believe that was the right move. But that doesn’t mean he has washed his hands of the PTI. I always did and still believe that Imran Khan will build a Naya Pakistan, he said. He said he knew nothing of the politics behind the decision to change his cabinet and said he wasn’t interested in them either.

You know me, he told journalists. I’m not interested in power politics, he said.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t be available to support Imran Khan and Naya Pakistan, said Umar. He thanked the PTI and most importantly its young supporters. I joined the PTI on April 18, 2012 and today I’m not leaving the PTI but I’m leaving the ministry, he said. He also thanked the people of NA-48 and NA-54 where he was elected from this term and the last one.

This seven year journey has been amazing, he said. There have been good and tough times and I tried to improve the situation as much as I could, said Umar.

He said further changes in the cabinet will be announced tonight or tomorrow morning. He also said that whatever decisions are being made are because the premier believes they are for the betterment of the country.

Whoever comes in now, will need to know the country’s economic position, he said. When we came in, Pakistan’s economy was going through its worst time in history, he said, adding that there were good and bad things but the bad were very bad.

We made some tough decisions to get ourselves out of that and we saw some improvement, said Umar. It’s not that we’re at such a great position now, he said, adding that the new finance minister will have to deal with a different economy than what he had to deal with. Local and foreign journalists have both said that being finance minister is the toughest job after being prime minister, said Umar.

The new minister will go through a lot and I hope they will get the support they need, he said. Umar said the economy is moving towards improvement but tough decisions and patience are needed.

If we aren’t ready to do that and instead want to act in haste, we will fall into that hole again, he warned. I have one request to the new minister, make tough decisions and stand with them, he said.

“Don’t expect that everything will all get fixed in three months,” he said. He also said that the decision to leave would not affect the IMF programme and instead should have been made earlier. It should have been made a month ago, Umar told the media. The next budget needs to reflect the IMF programme and the person going forward will take responsibility for its implementation so they should be a part of the IMF talks, he said.

It will be a difficult budget, he said.

When asked who is responsible for this development, whether there were some other politics at play, he said he isn’t interested. “I came to contribute to Pakistan and its economy. I don’t care about agendas,” said Umar. My kaptaan wanted to see me in a different role but I didn’t think it was appropriate, he said.

Being the finance minister, you have a responsibility to the people, he said. If I had to choose between two or three months of uncertainty or harming the interests of the people, I would chose the first, he said. I was not ready to hurt the people and I would rather and did face the abuse myself instead, said Umar.

He contended that the IMF programme finalised today has far better terms than the one initially offered. I still believe Naya Pakistan will be made and I still support it, said Umar, adding that his support was not contingent on a ministry.

The economy is going through some tough times and the opposition is using that as an excuse to stir up trouble, he said. A fresh team may be able to bring in change but it needs time, he said.

Umar also denied that his resignation is in protest. I joined because of Pakistan, he repeated. He also denied that it had anything to do with amnesty schemes

The basic policy design will stay the same, he told journalists, adding that with a new minister, a few small things could change but the main policy will be the same.

If the fundamentals aren’t fixed, we won’t be able to progress, he explained, adding that Pakistan has had the same three deficits for the past 40 years.

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  1. Bilal W.  April 18, 2019 2:38 pm/ Reply

    Too much of a talk. And he couldn’t complete one year. What professionalism?

  2. Furqaan  April 18, 2019 2:42 pm/ Reply

    Salaamun Alikum

    We don’t know about inside cabinet stores, I personally think he should remain as a finance minister, Ik should not take his resignation letter and allow him to do task at least two and half yers.

    With peace

  3. irfan siddiqui  April 18, 2019 3:21 pm/ Reply

    A very good decision for Pakistan ,he is not capable to handle financial matter and failed to control economical condition

  4. M  April 18, 2019 4:00 pm/ Reply

    Feel sorry to go, difficult financial situation. I must admire Asad as a Finance Minister.

  5. M S K Rana  April 18, 2019 4:01 pm/ Reply

    Feel sorry to go, difficult financial situation. I must admire Asad as a Finance Minister.

  6. Zulqarnain Shaikh  April 18, 2019 4:30 pm/ Reply

    Pure person is not required for this post .
    Those who can not compromise , must quit like he did.

  7. Fawad Ali  April 18, 2019 4:44 pm/ Reply


  8. Usman  April 18, 2019 5:14 pm/ Reply

    Its not clear whether he wanted to leave the ministry or PM IK wanted him to switch to another one. In either case, I believe AU should take the switch because every ministry is prestigious.

  9. Anonymous  April 18, 2019 7:06 pm/ Reply

    I thibk he was not qualified for this Job. For that matter most of the people which are their are not right for the job they have been given. I like Imran but he has no sence how to choose the right person for pirticuler job. He needs to fire more to get the right people to run the country. He may have to cross Platform to get them.

  10. SAH  April 18, 2019 8:18 pm/ Reply

    Why the persons belongs to families of Generals inevitable for seat of finance minister or Adviser in Pakistan. Now Ayub Umer after Asad Umer ???

  11. Fawwaz Zahid  April 18, 2019 9:13 pm/ Reply

    Only I know about Asad Umar that he is not corrupted. All corrupted mafia created situation for him to go.
    God bless Pakistan

  12. Rafay  April 18, 2019 9:22 pm/ Reply

    It’s very bad to remove finance minister. We will always remember him in our prayers bcZ he did alot for Pakistan.

  13. Ridaa  April 18, 2019 10:16 pm/ Reply

    I think we can take this in many perspectives .Although asad umar is undoubtedly a genuine person who really wanted to do something for Pakistan but putting that aside PTI on the whole made a quick entery with hefty slogans which automatically gave rise to unrealistic expectations so some of us were quite sure about this type of ending like a balloon deflates here many argumentative points can be put up in current scenario. I won’t like to give any credit to i.k but its asad umar who recognized that he wasn’t competent enough for this ministery so he left it secondly he refused to take up the charge of energy either..moreover, PTI also realized it’s (in)efficiency about what they used to brag alot but for now no one is up for this designation,so this will be kept I.K which could further lead us in more severe crisis as we know his nature that he doesn’t like to listen anyone .. so To me things are going to get more uncertain & unstable than before … (not very delightsome & congenial)

  14. Fawwaz Zahid  April 18, 2019 11:03 pm/ Reply

    Only I know about Asad Umar that he is not corrupted. His intention and direction was right. Indeed, there may be lot of other reasons for economy crisis. The reason was corrupt mafia who never allows honest persons to come in.

  15. Zeeshan Qureshi  April 19, 2019 10:22 am/ Reply

    People who are saying he isn’t capable of handling this position, must be high on something. When thieves like Ishaq fat robbed the country blind, same people were quite. Doob ka mar jana chahiye aisa loggon ko.

  16. haider ali  April 25, 2019 4:49 am/ Reply

    if such experience person can’t do that then who will do that…

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