THE appointment of Dr Hafeez Sheikh as Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance is very much in the news and has caused quite a stir. The step does not inspire confidence for a number of reasons. He had earlier been very close to General Musharraf, who made him the Federal Minister for Privatisation. How he handled that portfolio can be gauged from the PTCL privatisation deal he had executed for which the country is suffering the aftershock to this day. He has served as the country head of the World Bank in Saudi Arabia and is also looking after the US $ 1. 4 billion NRS hedge funds owned by Indian tycoons. So the question here is by making a man with such a track record the manager of the national kitty, are we not bringing about our own collapse? But then this is line with the ruling classes penchant for soldiers of fortune or imported leaders to be precise, who are interested in nothing except for ensuring that they get away with their slice of cake. Secondly, his appointment bears testimony to the fact that the IMF is virtually in the driving seat when it comes to controlling the economic reins and policies in Pakistan, thanks to the blind obedience by the PPP-led regime. It is common knowledge that the IMF rather than fighting poverty or helping the government in strengthening the economic muscle has turned out to be a real nuisance for ordinary Pakistanis. It has lived up to its reputation and has snatched bread out of the mouths of millions of poverty stricken citizens. With Shaukat Tarins departure, the portfolio is now under the command of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who will be responsible for running the economy along with Dr Hafeez. However, it is a great shame that the PPP top brass including President Zardari and the Prime Minister could find no one amongst the parliamentarians. It is certainly in the fitness of things, if elected representatives are put in the saddle when it comes to filling such important positions. And since one does not have to be a member of the parliament to be Advisor, one wonders why did the PPP picked him up. Wasnt there any economist in the entire country fit for the job? Under the circumstances, the government must eye someone within the parliament. The nation is weary of aliens deciding their fate who prove unable to do justice to the assignment because they have their own business and companies to run. The slot should be given to someone whose loyalty to Pakistan is beyond doubt and who could be expected to attend to the job wholeheartedly. It would only be foolhardy to put our reliance on a person who has already let us down.