Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Ishaq Dar on Wednesday was sworn in as the new finance minister following his return to the country. The oath was administered by President Dr Arif Alvi at the Aiwan-i-Sadr. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, among others, were present at the oath-taking ceremony. A notification issued by the Cabinet Division shortly afterwards stated, “The president, on the advice of the prime minister, has been pleased to appoint Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar as federal minister […] with immediate effect.” Dar was nominated by PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PM Shehbaz as the finance minister during a meeting on Sunday. He arrived in the country along with PM Shehbaz earlier this week to take charge of the finance portfolio, which he has previously held on three occasions. The PML-N leader, who had been in self-exile for nearly five years, was sworn in as a senator on Tuesday. Speaking to the media outside the Ministry of Finance alongside Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah later on Wednesday, Dar gave his two cents on the state of the economy and the way forward. “All of you know at what stage the economy was when the PML-N left the government. Food inflation was two per cent […] the reserves were at their highest, the rupee was stable at 104.50 and Pakistan’s growth was at 6.3pc.” Dar blamed the PTI government for failing to manage the economy. “You name it and the trouble, the problem is there,” he said as he pointed out the dollar price, soaring inflation and interest rates. We can’t reverse the destruction of the approximately four years of PTI’s tenure in the few months which the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has remaining, he said. “As a nation, we have a lot of challenges [but] we have successfully faced them in the past as well.” Meanwhile, Ishaq Dar appeared before an accountability court in Islamabad after keeping away for five years, explaining that he was unable to return to the country and appear before the court due to the seizure of his passport by the then Imran Khan-led PTI government. Dar appeared before the accountability court and surrendered himself to seek cancellation of his arrest warrant. Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir had on Sep 23 suspended the perpetual arrest warrant against Dar, which was issued on Dec 11, 2017, after he absconded from an assets-beyond-means case. The warrants were suspended until Oct 7, giving the senator a fortnight to surrender to the law. The accountability judge, however, also has the power to recall the warrant. If the judge exercises this power, Dar will no longer need to seek bail but will be required to join trial proceedings and mark his attendance on every date of the hearing until the court exempts him from personal appearance. During his appearance in court, Judge Bashir asked the PML-N leader about his case, saying his application had been received earlier. Dar told the court that he wanted to come despite being unwell, however, the previous government had seized his passport which barred him from returning to the country. “The [Pakistani] embassies across various countries were given directives to not issue me the passport,” Dar told the court. After hearing the arguments, the court issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau and deferred the hearing till Oct 7.