Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen has asked the government to relieve him of his duties, as he wants to focus on business – a request that can embarrass the government.

The PPP-led government has turned down the request and directed Tareen to continue his assignment.

Although Tareen has denied rumors about his resignation, he is in search of a replacement, the paper claims.

Sources close to Tareen say that being a technocrat, he was upset with the current political situation, especially the government-judiciary tensions. They say he is afraid that future governments may victimize him and harm his bank business.
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However, business sources close to Tareen hold a different point of view about his resignation. They say the State Bank has asked SILK Bank – a major share of which is held by Tareen – to generate Rs 6 billion as equity. Bank of Muscat, as the major shareholder of SILK Bank, refused to provide the financial assistance needed, while International Finance Corporation (IFC) denied the provision of funds saying they could not oblige Tareen as he was the finance minister. They say the only option now left for Tareen was to quit the cabinet and the Senate.

While Rs 6 billion is not a big sum for a bank, Tareen does not want to raise the funds while occupying the office of the financeminister, as he could be charged with exploiting his official position, the report said.

Following the departure of Ishaq Dar (PML-N), the PPP-led government had no other option within its fold to deal with matters involving international financial institutions. Being a technocrat, Shaukat Tareen was a good option and he was ready to serve the country.

Tareen request that he be allowed to leave has shocked the government, as he was properly consulted before his appointment as finance minister, and as a Senator from Sindh.

The government’s case for engaging Tareen as finance minister was that in the current international scenario, financial matters were a tricky job and a technocrat could deal better with international financial institutions instead of a politician.

Daily Times