Asad Umar admits unsatisfactory performance


Former finance minister Asad Umar has said the economy isn’t in such an unstable position when it was at the time of him taking up reins, according to a media report.

Talking to a private news channel hours after announcing his ‘resignation’ from office, Umar said that talks were going on about his possible removal from the ministry, but it actually transpired on Wednesday night.

Umar said that he “is neither angry nor disappointed” at Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision.

When insisted by the anchorperson that he must have felt disappointed or even angry at the prime minister’s decision, Umar said: “To be honest, I did not feel any [disappointment. In the last eight months, I had worked so much that I told my family that I was on the verge of a physical burnout.

Describing the reasoning given to him, Umar said that “the prime minister thinks that a fresh team and a fresh start could help exert the pressure on the government.”

When asked why he refused the energy portfolio and opted against staying in the cabinet, Umar said that was “never in it for posts and designations” and only wanted to contribute in a position that was a better fit for his expertise.

Described the Finance Ministry’s position as “the most difficult job in Pakistan”, Umar said that his stress levels plummeted” as soon as he was informed by the premier of his decision. “There is no extent to how relaxed I feel right now,” he added.

The Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf leader said his ministry took a number of measures. “But results of some couldn’t be acquired.”

While responding to a question about his removal from the ministry due to ‘performance’, he replied: “What else could be the reason.”

He said he never prolonged a debate if anyone in the party raised any objection to his decisions. He insisted that the economy prospered during the PTI government’s tenure.

He said that the most difficult decision taken during his time in charge was not “resort to populist politics and instead sticking to what was best for the people’s interest in the long run”.

The host asked Umar to comment on his “ego”, adding that he is seen as “too egotistical” at times. Umar in response admitted that “I have heard this too but from big-shot elites who speak English. I also hear the common man say: ‘He (Umar) is a very simple man’ when they are asked what good they see in me.”

Umar said there could be no comparison between him and Usman Buzdar. “He is the chief minister of Punjab.”

He hailed the next possible finance minister Hafeez Sheikh and said he was a humble man, adding “I have worked with him.”