Ishaq Dar was back in the country on 25 January
Claim: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar was in Qatar on 25 January.
Fact: While Dar had flown to Doha to meet with his Qatari counterpart, he was back in the country on 25 January.
On 25 January, economist and writer Yousuf Nazar tweeted that he believed Pakistan’s finance minister Ishaq Dar was still in Qatar. The tweet came as the Pakistani Rupee (PKR) continued to depreciate, and the possibility of a sovereign default loomed closer. Soch Fact Check found this to be false. While Dar had been in Doha on 24 January to meet with Qatar’s finance minister, he was back in Pakistan the following day and was present at multiple meetings in Islamabad.
Fact vs Fiction
Over the past week, the PKR’s value has plunged to a historical low, and Pakistan’s foreign reserves have continued to fall. On 25 January, the State Bank of Pakistan removed an unofficial cap on the PKR to USD exchange rate at the behest of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan. This was followed by a steep decline in the PKR’s value, which is currently trading at PKR 269.63 to a dollar.
Meanwhile, finance minister Ishaq Dar is facing a barrage of criticism on social media. Amongst other things, Pakistani netizens are criticising Dar for his continued silence as the country looms closer to the possibility of sovereign debt and economic breakdown. On 25 January, economist Yousuf Nazar tweeted a similar opinion, “Ishaq Dar is still in Qatar, I believe. He has not said a word for the last 48 hours while the country drifts dangerously close to a default.”
Soch Fact Check found this to be false. While it’s true that Dar has not yet released a statement on the current situation, he was in Pakistan on 25 January. The previous day, Dar had met with the Qatari finance minister in Doha. However, he was back in the country on the date of Nazar’s tweet. Posts made by the finance ministry’s official Twitter account show Dar chairing a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee in Islamabad. He also met with a representative of the United States Department of Treasury on the same day.
Nazar’s tweet was viewed over 32,000 times, liked by 435 accounts, and retweeted 84 times. All 11 quote retweets reaffirmed the claim that Dar was in Qatar and were viewed a total of 6,642 times.
Conclusion: As Pakistan’s economic crisis continued to escalate, economist Yousuf Nazar tweeted on 25 January that he believed finance minister Ishaq Dar was not in the country. Soch Fact Check found this to be false. While Dar was in Qatar the previous day, he was back in Pakistan on the day of the tweet and attended multiple meetings in Islamabad.