Ishaq Dar sworn in as Senator amid PTI protests

PTI leaders surround speaker’s dais, hold placards condemning Dar’s oathtaking as Senator

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar was sworn in as a Senator on Tuesday amid loud protests by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) upper house members.

The PTI lawmakers surrounded the speaker’s dais, chanted slogans calling Dar a ‘thief’ while also holding placards condemning the PML-N leader’s oathtaking.

Dar had been elected to the Senate from Punjab but could not take oath as he was not in the country since 2017.

As he made his way to the Senate, in an informal conversation with the media Dar said “rupee’s value has dropped artificially,” admitting that the government faced a big challenge with inflation.

“We will try our best,” he said, “God has blessed us in the past with success”, expressing hope for the future making notes of the decline in debt and recent drop in the pressure on the local currency.

“I love the people and the people love me,” he added.

Shortly after, under the chairmanship of Sadiq Sanjarani, the Senate session commenced where Dar was sworn in while the opposition shouted and sloganeered in protest.

Federal Law Minister Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar while speaking on the occasion welcomed Dar to the Senate.

“The sanctity of the house should be borne into mind,” said Tarar, adding that “everyone has skeletons in their closet”.

“Your reservations can be personal,” he continued, “but not in accordance with the law and the Constitution”.

Opposition Leader Shahzad Wasim said that “this system is protecting personalities” and expressed his reservations that it was “turning into one family’s system”.

As Wasim spoke, senators from the government benches began sloganeering. Nonetheless, Wasim went on to add that Dar was “yet to surrender to the court”.

“He has simply entered the Senate,” he exclaimed, “is there any respect for the Senate or not?”.

After the opposition recorded its protest, the proceedings progressed as per the agenda.

It may be noted that PML-N leader Miftah Ismail officlaly stepped down from his post earlier in the day as Dar is all set to become the country’s new finance czar.

Read more Opp wary of Dar’s return as coalition partners cheer

During a huddle in London with the elder Sharif, party supremo Nawaz Sharif and PM Shehbaz had nominated Dar to be the new finance minister of the country.

The two main targets given to Dar by PML-N supremo Nawaz are to bring down inflation and decrease the dollar-rupee parity, a source close to the Sharif family told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity.

The source said Dar would draw on his vast experience from his previous stints and try to bring market forces under control.

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