Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Islamabad [Pakistan], Apr 20 (ANI): Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Saturday took charge as the newly-appointed Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs.

Shortly after taking charge, Hafeez said that that economic decision needs to be well thought out and free from emotions, Dunya News reported after quoting officials from the Finance Ministry.

Following a major Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan replaced former Finance Minister Asad Umar with Hafeez.

Hafeez worked as Saudi Arabia's country head with the World Bank, and as a senior official adviser to 21 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

He also remained Pakistan's finance minister from 2010 to 2013 during the tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party and minister of finance, planning and development of Sindh from 2000 to 2002. He served as minister for privatization under former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Meanwhile, Umar, who was offered the energy portfolio by Khan, said: "I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position.""I strongly believe @ImranKhanPTI is the best hope for Pakistan and insha Allah will make a Naya Pakistan," he tweeted.

The change in the Finance Ministry comes at a time when Pakistan is in the middle of negotiating a new bailout package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Umar had just returned from a trip to Washington during which details of Pakistan's next IMF bailout were finalised, documented and signed.

After resigning from his post, Umar said that "it was time to make some difficult decisions to stabilise the economy" and that he hopes his replacement would be supported in his efforts.

"This does not mean I am not available to forward PTI's vision for 'Naya Pakistan'. I am and will always be available to forward the interests of the country," The Express Tribune quoted Umar as saying. (ANI)

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