Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan made a sweeping cabinet reshuffle on Thursday after only seven months in power and appointed Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as de facto finance minister to steer the country through worsening economic turmoil. Nadeem Babar has replaced Sarwar as the PM's adviser on petroleum.
"I think, as per my discussion with the prime minister, other changes [in the cabinet] will be announced either tonight or tomorrow morning".
The minister shared the news of his resignation on his twitter handle followed by a press conference in Islamabad.
Asad Umar continued that he has decided not to take any cabinet position after the premier's consent. "I strongly believe Imran is the best hope for Pakistan and inshallah will make a naya Pakistan", he tweeted.
Asad Umar explained his resignation as a part of the cabinet reshuffle and further said that he does NOT want to take any other cabinet position.
"I don't know if there has been a conspiracy or not (to remove me) but all I know is that my "captain" (Imran Khan) wanted to see me in the role of the energy minister".
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He said the economy was moving towards "prosperity, but tough decisions were needed to be taken" to overcome the economic crisis in the country and his replacement would be taking over a tough job. Reportedly, Sarwar had threatened to quit the party if removed from the cabinet. "This is already too late, the next person should have come in earlier, at least a month ago", he stressed.
Responding to a question, the finance minister defended his performance and said "Who says that I have failed in achieving what I wanted to achieve?"
Imran Khan was widely expected to turn to a steady hand to replace businessman Asad Umar, who was the former chief executive of Engro, Pakistan's biggest private conglomerate. "I will accept any decision taken by PM Khan", he replied.
Finance Minister Umar said earlier this month that a mission of the International Monetary Fund would visit Islamabad soon after the spring meetings of the World Bank Group, which includes the International Monetary Fund, and an agreement should be signed by the end of this month.
Following PTI's victory in 2018, Umar was sworn in as the Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs in August. This all has naturally hurt the sentiments of many young PTI supporters who had high expectations from their beloved finance minister.