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Friday, February 16, 2024

Will Prime Minister Imran Khan meet Jahangir Tareen?

The pro-Tareen lawmakers have refused to meet a committee formed by PM Imran Khan, insisting that they want the premier to hear their reservations. Will Imran Khan meet the JKT group?

PTI lawmakers who are backing the party’s former secretary-general Jahangir Tareen are likely to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan or the premier’s designated committee this week, local media reported on Monday.

Following the development, Tareen cancelled a Wednesday dinner that he was going to host at his residence, sources said, adding the event was put off after a green signal from the prime minister’s office.

The pro-Tareen lawmakers have refused to meet a committee formed by PM Imran Khan, insisting that they want the premier to hear their reservations. “Imran Khan is our captain, and we will present our grievances only in front of him,” the lawmakers said, according to sources.

PTI lawmakers propose quitting assemblies

Two days ago, PTI lawmakers had offered to quit the assemblies in support of party stalwart Jahangir Tareen, during a meeting held at his Lahore residence.

Sources privy to the meeting informed Geo News that more than 30 members of both the national and provincial assemblies attended the huddle and discussed the roadmap ahead for the party, with a majority of them offering to resign.

According to the sources, the offer of resignations was not unanimously agreed upon by all lawmakers as a measure suited for the time being.

The lawmakers were, however, of the opinion that if “injustices” against Tareen continue, then the option of resignations from the assemblies must be exercised. The sources said that the lawmakers also decided to contact others from the party.

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.”

Inquiry Commission report: PM Khan’s boldest decision so far?

It is important to note that in 2020, following the shortage of wheat flour in the country and the subsequent price hike, sugar had also gone missing from the market. Taking notice of the situation, the prime minister had formed a committee to find out those responsible for the crises.

The prime minister had constituted two high-powered committees headed by the Director-General (DG) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) along with a senior officer of the Intelligence Bureau and the DG of the Anti-Corruption Establishment of Punjab to investigate the causes behind the crises and price hike of those commodities. The prime minister had further directed the committee on sugar to conduct forensic analysis of sugar mills to further expand the findings.

On the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the reports of the inquiry committees tasked to probe sugar and wheat crises in the country were made public on the 4th of April, 2020. According to the inquiry committee, there are six groups which control about 51% of the production of sugar in Pakistan, JKT’s Group JDW, controls 19.97% production, RYK Group (Khusro Bakhtiar) group control 12.24%, Al-Moiz Group controls 6.8%, Tandlianwala Group 4.9%, Omni Group 1.7% and the Sharif family owns 4.5% of the production.

Read More: SC allows government to go after those involved in recent sugar crisis

There were some speculations suggesting that the report might never be made public. Interestingly, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, then Federal Minister for Railways, had claimed in a private talk show that the report was unlikely to be published. “There shall be no report, I think,” he said. “Any report can disrupt the political process in the country, therefore, I believe that there may be some tactics to delay the report,” he added.