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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Why is PM Imran Khan meeting Jahangir Tareen’s group?

A group of 33 disgruntled PTI lawmakers will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan today to share their concerns with regard to the investigations carried out against Tareen.

A group of 33 disgruntled PTI lawmakers – who have rallied around ruling party’s beleaguered former secretary general Jahangir Tareen – will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan today [Tuesday] to share their concerns with regard to the investigations carried out against Tareen.

Tareen has reportedly confirmed the development but clarified that he will not be part of the delegation.

These lawmakers include 11 National Assembly members (MNAs) including Minister for State and Frontier Regions Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan.

The MNAs include Raja Riaz, Sami Gillani, Riaz Mazari, Khwaja Sheeraz, Mobeen Alam Anwar, Javed Waraich, Ghulam Lali, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Faizul Hassan Shah and Sahibzada Ameer Sultan.

A total of 22 ruling party lawmakers from the Punjab Assembly (MPAs) are also part of the group that is now tagged as the PTI’s “Hum Khayal” Group.

These include two provincial ministers – Nauman Langrial and Ajmal Cheema and four provincial advisers – Abdul Hai Dasti, Ameer M Khan, Rafaqat Gillani and Faisal Jabuwana.

Tareen was once considered a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan. However, the PTI’s former secretary general was side-lined after an inquiry report about a sugar crisis accused him of benefiting from a steep hike in prices of the commodity in January 2020.

In an apparent reference to Tareen, PM Imran while talking to reporters in Sargodha last week said he was ready to meet and listen to the grievances of party’s lawmakers but added that sugar price was increased by Rs26 per kilogramme which robbed the nation of Rs130 billion.

Last week, PTI MNAs and MPAs, who accompanied Tareen to the banking court in show of support, had warned the premier, saying “if the things remained unchanged, if humiliation of Jahangir Tareen continues with the same pace, then we can take any extreme decision”.

“We believe that Jahangir Tareen is being humiliated through such cowardly moves, nothing could be earned through such ways… this matter should be brought to its logical conclusion,” demanded PTI lawmaker Raja Riaz.

FIA goes after JKT

The FIA has charged Tareen and others for illegal hoarding of sugar, misappropriation and cheating in the FIR. CEO of JWD Sugar Mills in an act of forgery transferred 3.14 billion rupees to a closed company, the FIR read.

“In year 2011-12 over three billion rupees were transferred to Farooqi Pulp Milk Ltd,” according to the case. In year 2011-12 Tareen and family members also purchased dollars from the open market. His nominees transferred over seven million dollars to overseas for purchase of properties,” according to the FIR.

The FIA in another FIR charged that Amir Waris, a confidante of Tareen, made illegal transactions from the company accounts and drawn over two billion rupees. Waris illegally deposited the amount in personal accounts of Jahangir Tareen and his family members.

Read More: Power corridors’ prolonged association with sugar mills

“During the inquiry a fake account was also found, which was used for around six billion rupees illegal transactions,” FIR read. “The fake account was used for transactions in accounts of various companies of Jahangir Tareen.”