PPP leader Khursheed Shah has said that banker Muhammad Aurangzeb was appointed finance minister instead of PML-N’s Ishaq Dar to “settle down” the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a surprise allocation of portfolios, Aurangzeb was sworn in as the finance minister earlier this month while Dar was handed the foreign ministry.

In an interview on DawnNewsTV programme Doosra Rukh on Sunday night, Shah said that it was premature to comment on decisions made by the federal cabinet. “We should give at least three to six months […] there is also pressure from the IMF, which the government will have to deal with,” he said.

Shah was then asked whether, in his opinion, the PML-N was compelled by circumstances to appoint Aurangzeb as the finance minister and Mohsin Naqvi as the interior minister.

The PPP leader said that for finance, Dar was the PML-N’s first choice. He further said that in light of the current situation and due to “IMF pressure”, people associated with the Fund were picked.

“I think Aurangzeb was appointed to settle down [sic] the IMF,” he said. Asked whether the finance minister could achieve this, Shah said: “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

He further said that the PPP did not have a say with regard to the federal cabinet.

Shah was then asked about people being appointed to the federal cabinet in an effort to maintain good relations with the military establishment.

“Every government has to maintain good relations with the establishment. The establishment is a very big part of this country,” he said, adding that these would be maintained through the attorney general.

“The relationship with the establishment is part of the government, part of the Parliament,” he said.

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