In yet another blow to the PTI Government, senior PTI member Asad Umar announced that he is stepping down as Finance Minister.
Asad Umar “to not take any cabinet position”
Additionally, Asad Umar has taken Prime Minister Imran Khan’s consent “to not take any cabinet position”, amid reports of a reshuffle.
“As part of a cabinet reshuffle, [the] prime minister desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance,” he said. “However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position.”
As part of a cabinet reshuffle PM desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance. However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position. I strongly believe @ImranKhanPTI is the best hope for Pakistan and inshallah will make a naya pakistan
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) April 18, 2019
It is unclear whether Umar has officially submitted a resignation, and whether it has been accepted.
There is some visible disappointment over the news in PTI circles because Asad Umar is admired and looked up to in the party.
— Rao Jee (@raoo512) April 18, 2019
I voted PTI because of Asad Umar. As a voter of PTI, I'm so disappointed today.
— Arsal A. Jafri (@arsaljafri) April 18, 2019
Reports were circulating earlier this week about a possible reshuffle in the post for Minister for Finance and Minister of State for Interior held by Asad Umar and Shehryar Afridi respectively, which were quickly dismissed.
The government in general and the finance minister, in particular, have faced mounting criticism by opposition parties, members of the business community and citizens over the handling of the economic crisis.
“Why are things with PTI falling apart?”
The timing of this news could have major repercussions for the stock market and the imminent IMF bail-out package.
Asad Umar had recently returned from a trip to Washington in which the details of Pakistan’s next International Monetary Fund bailout were finalized, documented and signed. An IMF mission is expected to visit Islamabad before the end of the month to work out technical tables since all major issues had been settled and documented, Asad Umar said earlier.