Karachi Bank CEO Eyed for Federal Minister Role in Pakistan

Aurangzeb, the current president and CEO of Karachi’s Habib Bank Limited (HBL), boasts extensive experience in both national and international financial sectors, as reported by The News International. Notably, he has met with Nawaz Sharif, the three-time former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, and participated in the inaugural finance meeting chaired by newly-elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Sources suggest that discussions are underway regarding Aurangzeb’s dual nationality, potentially paving the way for his inclusion in the Cabinet as a federal minister.

Before his tenure at HBL, Aurangzeb served as the CEO of JP Morgan’s Global Corporate Bank in Asia, accumulating over 30 years of robust international banking experience. He holds the distinction of being the sole Pakistani member of the exclusive Global CEO Council organised by the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Group. Additionally, he has held prominent positions such as chairman of the Pakistan Banks’ Association and director of the Pakistan Business Council.

Meanwhile, Ishaq Dar, a close associate of the Sharif family and former finance minister in previous administrations, was notably absent from Monday’s finance meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Speculation surrounds Dar’s potential exclusion from the Cabinet due to health concerns and other undisclosed factors, although he may be assigned another significant role.

The forthcoming Minister for Finance faces the formidable task of negotiating a substantial deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has already instructed relevant authorities to initiate negotiations with the IMF to secure a new agreement.

With the current USD 3 billion Stand-by Agreement (SBA) set to conclude on April 12, 2024, Pakistan must decide whether to pursue the final tranche of USD 1.1 billion or engage in discussions for a new three-year EFF program. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has authorised the finance ministry to commence talks with the IMF, aiming to conclude the ongoing SBA while simultaneously exploring options for a new arrangement.

Upon the formation of the federal cabinet, the IMF delegation will be invited for critical discussions in Islamabad. Additionally, several PML-N leaders, including Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Asif, Mussadiq Malik, and Atta Tarar, are under consideration for key ministerial positions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *