ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Shaukat Tarin, a key figure in the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, announced on Friday that he had decided to quit the PTI and politics for good, marking another setback for the Imran Khan-led party ahead of the general election.

Mr Tarin, who was one of the heads of PTI’s manifesto committees, said he has also decided to resign as a member of the Senate.

In a statement, he cited the challenges he faced over the last two and a half years, particularly financial strains and deteriorating health, as primary reasons for his departure.

“Since 1997, when I left Citibank and a million-dollar package to successfully help turn round Habib Bank Limited at the request of PML-N, I have helped different political parties to manage the economy,” Mr Tarin said in the statement.

Ex-finance minister cites financial strains, deteriorating health as primary reasons for his departure

“In 2008/10 as finance minister under PPP, I helped save the country from impending default and stabilised the economy. Also concluded a conse­nsus NFC (National Fin­a­nce Commission) awa­­rd after 19 years,” he said.

He also noted his success in achieving the best economic performance in 17 years during his tenure as finance minister in PTI government in 2021 and 2022.

“For the last 27 years, I have tried to pay back to my country at great personal costs, following in the footsteps of my father, who was a Pakistan Movement veteran,” he said.

“But the last two and a half years have been very challenging both financially and due to deteriorating health,” he said, adding that his health issues were exacerbated by two bouts of Covid-19 during his tenure in office.

“Therefore, at the insistence of my family and friends, I have decided to resign from active politics for good and move on. Hence, I am resigning from the PTI and also from the Senate of Pakistan. I want to thank all those colleagues and friends who have helped me along this journey,” he said.

Mr Tarin’s resignation is a substantial blow to PTI, already reeling from the departure of numerous leaders since the violent May 9 protests, erupted after the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan.

Among those who have left are prominent figures like Usman Buzdar, Ali Zaidi, Pervez Khattak, Fawad Chaudhry, Shireen Mazari, Asad Umar, Usman Dar and Farrukh Habib.

Mr Tarin was appointed the finance minister by the PTI government on April 17, 2021. However, because he was not elected to the parliament, his constitutional term ended after six months, on Oct 16, after which he was made the finance adviser to the prime minister.

However, the PTI government managed to get Mr Tarin elected as a senator in December 2021, allowing him to resume his role as finance minister.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2023

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