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Pakistan's finance minister quits, cabinet shuffled before IMF deal

Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 19, 2019
Pakistan's finance minister Asad Umar stepped down in a cabinet shuffle Thursday as Islamabad seeks a crucial bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund.
Asad Umar
Asia   Asad Umar
The government named Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, a former World Bank official who was Pakistan's finance minister from 2010-2013, as "adviser on finance" replacing Umar, the Dawn newspaper and other media reported.

Umar, one of cricketer-turned-premier Imran Khan's most powerful ministers, had been entrusted with the task of negotiating the long-delayed bailout as Pakistan's cash-strapped economy faces a balance-of-payments crisis.

His abrupt resignation comes with Khan's government, which came to power last year, under growing pressure. The rupee has lost 30 percent of its value since the start of 2018, stirring sharp inflation.

"As part of a cabinet reshuffle, PM desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance," Asad Umar tweeted.