Top contender for Pakistan's finance minister post meets Nawaz Sharif: Report | World News - Hindustan Times

Top contender for Pakistan's finance minister post meets Nawaz Sharif: Report

Mar 06, 2024 11:07 AM IST

Top contender for Pakistan's finance minister post meets Nawaz Sharif: Report

Aurangzeb, the president and CEO of Karachi-based Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has vast experience working in national and international financial institutions, The News International newspaper reported.

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He has already met the three-time former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz and also attended the first meeting on finance that newly-elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired soon after taking the oath of office on Monday, the report said, quoting sources.

Aurangzeb's dual nationality is being discussed to be settled for his induction into the Cabinet as a federal minister, according to sources.

Before his current job, he was the CEO of JP Morgan’s Global Corporate Bank based in Asia, with a rich international banking experience of over 30 years.

He is the only Pakistani to be invited to the exclusive membership of the Global CEO Council, organised by the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones group. He has also been elected chairman of the Pakistan Banks’ Association and director of the Pakistan Business Council.

Ishaq Dar, a close Sharif family associate who served as finance minister in two previous governments, did not attend Monday's finance meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is also the President of the PML-N.

According to a source, Dar might not get the job because of health issues and other undisclosed reasons but will be given another important responsibility.

The Sharif brothers are expected to meet soon to discuss and finalise the Cabinet members, after which the formal announcement would be made, the report said.

The biggest challenge for the upcoming Minister for Finance would be clinching a staggering deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

In his maiden meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the relevant authorities to kick-start negotiations to strike a fresh deal with the Washington-based global lender.

The ongoing USD 3 billion Stand-by Agreement (SBA) is scheduled to be completed on April 12, 2024. It is yet to be seen whether Islamabad will complete the ongoing SBA programme by securing its last tranche of USD 1.1 billion or start parleys for a new three-year EFF programme.

Shehbaz has already granted his approval to the finance ministry to invite the IMF team and kick-start parleys to complete the ongoing SBA and request a new three-year deal with the Fund simultaneously.

Soon after the formation of the federal cabinet, the IMF team will be invited to hold crucial talks here in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, various names of PML-N leaders were under consideration for the Cabinet. Senior party leader Ahsan Iqbal was being considered as interior minister, former defence minister Khawaja Asif is being considered for the same post again, while Mussadiq Malik's name was under consideration as petroleum minister and Atta Tarar's as information minister, sources said.

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