Prime Minister House Spokesperson, Musadik Malik, and the Minister of Information, Marriyam Aurangzeb, both confirmed that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will not be resigning from his post. These statements came after there were echoes on the social as well as mainstream media about his impending voluntary resignation. However, the minister seems adamant on retaining his post despite being severely ill. The post for now is being looked after by the Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, himself; who is looking at all the relevant ministry matters, along with all the other functions the portfolio entails.

Ishaq Dar’s failure to show up to court not only goes in favour of the accusations made against him but also create a lot of lag in the work of the ministry. It is not the job of the Prime Minister to be taking care of the ministries on such a level. This wastes a lot of precious time and resources. Political parties and the Senate Standing Committee on Finance are right in pointing out that there is a need for appointing a new Finance Minister, especially when the current one is too ill to carry on his work, let alone physically leave the sick bed and return to the country.

Ishaq Dar needs to realise that he cannot fulfil his job requirements sitting in London and expecting the post to remain his, despite him not being able to work. Meanwhile the government needs to realise that the added factor of his trial – which he has so far avoided – makes his return all the more unlikely. Non-bailable arrests warrants, cautions by the court, and moves to put his name on the ECL have already been made. With only two options left on the table, it seems that the Finance Minister has chosen one keeps him outside the country.

However, this doesn’t need to be the escalated situation it has become. Ishaq Dar has a third option. With only months left till the election, resigning the post pending the trial – a practice that is routinely practiced by ministers around other democracies – is not an undignified or unreasonable option.

He needs to be realistic, along with other party members - who at this point are considering of constituting an economic advisory council, which will have economic experts providing the best advice from all over Pakistan in lieu of a full time Finance Minister.

However, this decision is not the answer. The government cannot start forming councils so that people not showing up to their jobs can retain their positions. Neither does it replace the benefits of having an accountable and independent minister.