Shaukat Aziz may continue as finance minister

ISLAMABAD (October 15 2002) : As the tremors of election results jolt the power corridors, one decision seems to be undisturbed and that is the continuation of economic reform agenda and its managers, Shaukat Aziz & Co.

According to sources, President Pervez Musharraf has categorically conveyed his desire to Shaukat Aziz that he “must continue after the elections”.

The PML (Q) also seems inclined to take him as Finance Minister if it is able to form government at federal level. “It's not assumption, as PML (Q) offered him the ticket for NA-48 Islamabad, before the election,” sources said.

But Shaukat Aziz declined the offer as, being the professional economic manager, to fight elections was not his forte. “He is well engraved and enjoys the blessings of President and, being master of crafting friendships and putting hard work, he is probably the second cabinet member sitting relaxed and watching what is happening around him”, added sources.

They said that Shaukat Aziz is said to have told President that he is ready to serve the country, but a lot would depend on the future prime minister. “If he (PM) is the one with whom one can move along smoothly, then, yes I am ready and I don't think any prime minister will opt for derailing the past three years' good work done. So, not much of a difficulty. But first let the new prime minister come in and see if he does not have other options”, Shaukat Aziz said to have told the President.

Sources say that there is much to happen till the formation of the government, and one might see the drastic changes in the federal cabinet and but among those few who might survive Shaukat Aziz tops the list.

The corridors of Finance Ministry are also not smelling any change as everything is normal due to the conviction that the present economic managers are not going anywhere.

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