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Pak finance minister quits

Pakistani Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin is to step down this week to focus on his private banking interests, the News newspaper reported on Tuesday, following speculation that he would resign.

world Updated: Feb 24, 2010 01:23 IST

Pakistan’s finance minister announced his resignation Tuesday to concentrate on his personal business interests, delivering a blow to President Asif Ali Zardari’s government as its popularity plunges amid economic problems in the impoverished country.

Shaukat Tarin will leave his post at the end of the month to run his banking business, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said in a statement. He will continue to advise the government’s National Economic Advisory Council.

“It is our duty, we should not mix up our official duties and personal business,” Tarin told Dunya Television. Tarin is heavily involved in a consortium that in 2008 bought 86.55 percent of Silk Bank for $213 million.

Tarin, a former international banker and two-time chairman of the Karachi Stock Exchange, was considered an experienced and responsible minister in the finance role.

Zardari’s government has struggled to tackle Pakistan’s multitude of economic problems since coming to power in 2008, and its popularity has plunged as a result.

Entrenched poverty and rampant corruption are compounded by instability caused by militant violence. No replacement for Tarin was immediately announced.