How far will Pakistan’s ruling elite, tainted with past allegations of corruption and profligate spending, give way to a credible new central bank governor who may really discipline the country’s wayward public finances?

That was the question widely making the rounds on Wednesday as Pakistan’s financial circles awaited confirmation of the appointment of Shahid Kardar, a respected veteran economist, as the new central bank governor.

Pakistan’s public finances are clearly in a mess especially especially following the destruction – estimated at $43bn – caused by floods in the past month. Yet, the government had already failed even before the new economic challenges in meeting key objectives agreed with the IMF, notably the public sector’s budget deficit. If Kardar steps in to lead the central bank, it will be a surprise choice.

The Oxford-educated economist and chartered accountant has a reputation of being straight-talking and uncompromising - Read more

By Farhan Bokhari

The resignation of Pakistan’s central bank governor, Syed Salim Raza, on Thursday was played down by a finance ministry official in Islamabad. “The stock market’s KSE-100 index rose by more than 1 per cent just today so obviously investors are unmoved” he said, referring to equity prices on the Karachi stock exchange, the main stock market. Read more