Who Is Ishaq Dar? Pakistan’s Newly Appointed Deputy Prime Minister | World News

New Delhi: 73-year-old veteran politician and  Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar was appointed the country’s deputy prime minister on Sunday. According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Division, the appointment was made by Prime Minister Sharif “with immediate effect and until further orders”.

The announcement comes at a time when both Pak PM Sharif and Dar are away in Saudi Arabia to attend a World Economic Forum’s moot.

Dar who is a member of Shehbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party has served as finance minister in two previous governments. He was the party’s go-to person for all economic problems, serving as finance minister for the fourth and last time in the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government.

Despite being the party’s finance expert for decades, surprisingly, Dar was appointed as the foreign minister when Shehbaz Sharif established his cabinet in March.

Dar also shares close ties with former premier Nawaz Sharif as his son is the son-in-law of the elder Sharif.

Dar was expected to be appointed chairman of the Senate, the upper house of the Parliament. However, he lost the race last month when the PML-N struck a deal with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, to secure its support for the coalition government.

The party consented to allocate the positions of president and chairman of the Senate to the PPP, leaving Dar with no alternative but to accept a different role within the government.

The PML-N and the PPP agreed on a power-sharing deal to form the coalition government even though the former prime minister Imran Khan-backed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-backed independents won majority seats at the 266-member National Assembly.

It is not the first time a deputy prime minister has been appointed. Chaudhry Parvez Elahi served as Deputy Prime Minister during the tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from June 25, 2012, to June 29, 2013. His role at that time was mostly symbolic as he was rewarded by then-President Asif Ali Zardari for supporting the PPP government.

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