Finance Minister Ishaq Dar began his press conference on Friday by sharing economic data under the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
The Finance Ministry had earlier confirmed that the senators would hold a conference in Islamabad. Dar had said this while talking to reporters earlier in the day.
Asked by a reporter whether he was holding a presser to announce his resignation, Dar asked if he had any problem with his work. He urged them to “wait 2 hours for my press conference at 4:10 PM”.
“I invite all of you to join in,” he said.
When told by a reporter that Shabbar, former chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue, wanted Zaidi Dar to resign, he asked, “What has he (Zaidi) done for the country?”
He underlined, “He made matters worse for Pakistan and should be in jail for taking Pakistan to the brink of default.”
Asked about his views on former finance minister Shaukat Tareen, he declined to answer.
Dar’s press conference comes at a time when the currency witnessed high volatility in the inter-bank market, after falling 6.7% on Thursday to hit an all-time low of Rs 285.09. However, the very next day the rupee recovered some of its losses and was trading near 280 levels.
The volatile exchange rate coupled with low level of foreign exchange reserves and acute economic crisis in the country prompted the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to hike the key policy rate on Thursday by 300 basis points to 20%.
On Thursday, Dar tried to kill speculation on Pakistan’s economy, writing: “Anti-Pakistan elements are spreading malicious rumors that Pakistan may default.”
“This is not only completely false but also got the facts wrong. Despite making all external due payments on time, the SBP forex reserves are rising and are about $1 billion higher than four weeks ago.
He said that foreign commercial banks have started extending facilities to Pakistan.
“Our talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are nearing completion and we expect to sign the staff-level agreement with the IMF by next week. All economic indicators are slowly moving in the right direction.
Pakistan has been unable to secure the next tranche of funding from the IMF, which is crucial for the cash-strapped country.