ISLAMABAD -  Finance Minister Ishaq Dar , once the most powerful men in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, is likely to be removed from ministerial slot in the wake of corruption case against him while his role has drastically been curtailed in governmental affairs.

Sources in the ruling PML-N informed The Nation although Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in his maiden address to the Parliament after assuming the office of prime minister, admired the finance minister for his role in restoring the economy, now wants his removal from the ministerial slot owing to serious corruption charges and the pending case against him in the Accountability Court Islamabad.

The sources informed The Nation that over the past few weeks, Prime Minister Abbasi was taking up the case of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar with former premier Nawaz Sharif as due to his absence the work of the finance ministry was adversely affected; at the same time the overall reputation of the government was also tainted.

Sources in the party said Prime Minister Abbasi, during his recent visit to London, had advised Ishaq Dar to step down as the minister, but he refused to do so.

They said in the meeting held in Lahore last Monday morning, the issue of the finance minister’s replacement and others relating to the party’s strategy to deal with the accountability court cases also came under discussion.

The plan to launch a mass-contact campaign to counter the PTI chairman’s public rallies was also discussed, the sources said.

Sources in the party informed The Nation that as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was suffering from serious heart ailment and was unlikely to return in the near future, a replacement would be required to properly look after the working of the finance ministry,.

These sources said as the Accountability Court Islamabad was not showing any laxity towards him and was likely to issue non-bailable arrest warrants for him on Tuesday (today), the government would come under severe public criticism.

Some close aides of former premier Nawaz Sharif said although no final decision was taken about the removal of the finance minister, he was likely to be removed from the ministerial slot in the next few days to avoid further embarrassment.

The decision to remove the finance minister as a member of Council of Common Interests on Monday was also made with the approval of former premier Nawaz Sharif and it was agreed, in principle, that in case of his prolonged stay in London for health reasons, the government would bring some new face to run the affairs of the finance ministry.

The sources in the party further said matters would become tougher for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar as he would be behind bars as soon as the probe into the case was re-initiated because he was removed from the list of the accused after he turned approver, but later he backed out of the statement he had recorded under Section 164 of CrPC.

According to legal experts, the first man to go behind bars after the reopening of the investigation into the Hudaibiya Papers Mills case would be Ishaq Dar for retracting from his statement as an approver.

It is pertinent to mention here that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who acted as de-facto prime minister in the Nawaz Sharif government has already relinquished over two dozen positions he was holding other than the ministerial slot and the recent in line was his removal from the membership of Council of Common Interests (CCI).