Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar abruptly quit the Cabinet on Thursday before securing a multi-billion dollar International Monetary Fund bailout package for the cash-strapped country. Umar recently returned from a trip to the US in which the details of Pakistan’s next IMF bailout were discussed. He said, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Imran Khan desired him to take the Energy Minister portfolio instead of Finance.
However, he obtained Khan’s consent to not take any cabinet position. Imran Khan-led government and Umar, in particular, have faced mounting criticism by Opposition parties, members of the business community and citizens over the handling of the economic crisis. Pakistan is seeking eight billion dollars from the IMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy.