KARACHI: Former finance minister Miftah Ismail came out all guns blazing against his successor, incumbent Ishaq Dar, accusing him of running a campaign for six months to remove him from the office and constantly undermining him.

In a podcast with YouTuber Nadir Ali on Wednesday, Mr Ismail also accused Mr Dar of using his relationship with PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif to take the helm at the finance ministry — a statement Mr Ismail later regretted in a tweet the following day and blamed the media for giving his words a spin.

“I mentioned Dar Sb’s relations with the party leadership, which has been given a spin by the media. Upon reflection, I regret doing so,” he said in the Twitter post and thanked former principal secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi “for pointing out my mistake”.

During the conversation, Mr Ismail, who resigned in September as finance minister in line with the party’s decision, said he didn’t mind that he was shown the door, but “the way I was removed was not right”. Mr Ismail said he was called to London and told in front of 12 people that he was being replaced.

On being asked if he was removed from the office or himself resigned, Mr Ismail said without mincing his words that he had been removed by the party.

“For six months, Mr Dar used to appear on TV channels and claimed that he would bring down the dollar rate to Rs180 and even Rs160,” he told the YouTuber and alleged that Mr Dar even asked anchors to host TV programmes and post tweets against him.

He said Mr Dar had constantly been undermining him out of “personal ambitions” and dismissed suggestions that any faction or division existed within the PML-N.

During the podcast, Mr Ismail also expressed his views on the country’s current financial problems and insisted that a default was unlikely as far as the country had the backing of the International Monetary Fund.

On PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Mr Ismail said the former premier was a good politician but not a good policymaker. Mr Khan was fond of becoming the prime minister, but he had no idea what to do once there, he said.

Published in Dawn, january 6th, 2023

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