Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar, who was involved in extensive talks with IMF on finalizing a bailout package for the cash-strapped country, quit the Cabinet on Thursday, after Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his desire to shift him to the energy ministry.
Taking to his twitter account, he tweeted, "As part of a cabinet reshuffle, prime minister desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance."
As part of a cabinet reshuffle PM desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance. However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position. I strongly believe @ImranKhanPTI is the best hope for Pakistan and inshallah will make a naya pakistan— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) April 18, 2019
"However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position," he added.
Umar, who recently returned from a trip to the US, in which the details of Pakistan's next International Monetary Fund bailout were finalised, said he has obtained the prime minister's consent "to not take any cabinet position".
Earlier on April 15, it was reported that the premier was not impressed with the performance of around half a dozen cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister Asad Umar, reported Pakistan Today.
Prime Minister Khan-led government and Finance Minister Umar in particular have faced mounting criticism by opposition parties, members of the business community, and citizens over the handling of the economic crisis.
On Monday, the Pakistani media reported that a major reshuffle was on the cards in the Finance Ministry.
However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry denied the reports of the reshuffle.
"There is no truth in reports regarding changes in posts of federal ministers. The prime minister has the power to change ministers and the media should play a responsible role on this subject," he tweeted.
Cash-strapped Pakistan is seeking USD 8 billion from the IMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country's economy.
Pakistan has so far received a total of USD 9.1 billion in financial aid packages from friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the current fiscal year.
Finance Minister Umar said earlier this month, that a mission of the IMF would visit Islamabad soon after the spring meetings of the World Bank Group, which includes the IMF, and an agreement should be signed by the end of this month.
(With inputs from agencies)