Pakistan swears in Ishaq Dar as finance minister

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FILE PHOTO: Pakistan’s likely new Finance Minister Ishaq Dar walks upon his arrival at the Nur Khan military airbase in Chaklala, Rawalpindi, Pakistan September 26, 2022. Prime Minister’s Office/Handout via REUTERS.

By Asif Shahzad

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -Seasoned politician and chartered accountant Ishaq Dar took the oath as Pakistan’s new finance minister on Wednesday, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

It is Dar’s fourth stint as finance minister, and he will have to deal with some of the worst economic turmoil the South Asian nation has faced.

Dar, who currently holds a seat in the upper house of Pakistan’s parliament, was given the job after his predecessor Miftah Ismail quit, the fifth holder of the post to leave in less than four years amid persistent economic turbulence.

President Arif Ali administered Dar the oath of office in a ceremony broadcast live on state TV.

The senior politician from the ruling party of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif flew to Islamabad on Monday night after ending five years in self-exile in London.

He had left Pakistan in 2017 for medical treatment, pending corruption cases, which he says were politically motivated.

An anti-graft court last week suspended his arrest warrants enabling him to get back without being held.

(Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Raju Gopalakrishnan)