It has become a million dollar question that whether PM Imran Khan succumbed to the pressure exerted by Jahangir Tareen group within PTI. This group met with PM Imran khan yesterday to brief him about the ongoing FIA inquiry and cases against Jahangir Tareen.
When Jahangir Tareen group spoke with media after the meeting with PM Imran Khan, they give the impression that prime minister has accepted their demands and ensured them to look into the matter.
But federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry gives the contrary impression in his news briefing. He said that inquiry will continue and Prime Minister will not intervene in the proceedings of investigators.
According to the sources, PM Imran Khan refused to intervene into the inquiry and cases registered against Jahangir Tareen. He promised to personally monitor the cases and inquiry to make sure that no victimisation takes place.
But PM has removed the head of the FIA investigation team Dr Rizwan before the meeting. It will be a relief for Jahangir Tareen and four other leaders of PTI including a federal minister. It may be mentioned here that Mr Rizwan’s removal was the main demand of the former PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen and the lawmakers supporting him.
Dr Rizwan wants to arrest Jahangir Tareen and four others in sugar scam. So he was removed. It can be said that fear of immediate threat is no more there for Jahangir Tareen. The pressure worked at least to avert the arrest and fast tracking the inquiry. According to the sources, Dr Rizwan almost completed the sugar inquiry report and wanted to proceed further when he was removed.
PM Imran Khan has refused to remove Shahzad Akbar from his position and to take back the cases registered against Jahangir Tareen. He promised to personally monitor the cases and inquiry to make sure that no victimisation takes place.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday categorically said the Federal Investi¬gation Agency (FIA) would not be influenced to give relief to the disgruntled leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Jahangir Tareen, in the sugar scam probe but he would personally look into the matter to avoid any political victimisation in the case.
The prime minister also formed a one-man committee comprising his confidant, Senator Syed Ali Zafar, to ascertain whether the delegation’s concerns that some people in the government and the PTI were politically victimizing Jahangir Tareen were genuine. The decision to form the committee was made a day after media reports claimed the government had changed FIA’s sugar inquiry chief. Fawad Chaudhry also confirmed the formation of one man committee to look into the allegations of political victimisation.
The leader of pro-Tareen group Raja Riaz objected on the name of Syed Ali Zafar but PM Imran Khan rejected his objection.
Jahangir Tareen was one of the most influential figures in PTI. He spends lot of resources on PTI activities. He joined the PTI in 2011 and since then played leading role in the party. His relations with PM Imran Khan has strained since the sugar inquiry report was made public.
Jahangir Tareen played important role in bringing the electables from PPP and PML-N into PTI fold before the 2018 general elections. He also played active role to win over many independent candidates to get the simple majority both in Center and Punjab.
But situation has changed since one year. The relationship between PM Imran khan and Jahangir Tareen get soared. According to sources close to Jahangir Tareen, they are not even on speaking terms. Imran Khan even declined the request of Jahangir Tareen to have one on one meeting.
There are 11 National Assembly members (MNAs) including Minister for State and Frontier Regions Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan. The MNAs include Raja Riaz, Sami Gillani, Riaz Mazari, Khawaja Sheraz, Mobeen Alam Anwar, Javed Warraich, 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.
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.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed Senator Ali Zafar to review the reservations and concerns of the pro-Jahangir Khan Tareen legislators and compile a report on the issue.
Senator Ali Zafar has been asked to look into the reservations of the MNAs, who have complained that a deliberate or politically motivated attempt is being made to malign Tareen, and submit a report with the top leadership.
Sources said the prime minister also rejected the pro-Jahangir Tareen group’s demand of formation of a judicial commission. Speaking to the media after the meeting, PTI MNA from Faisalabad Raja Riaz claimed their demands have been accepted and the prime minister has assured the group that he is “personally monitoring” the inquiry against Tareen and will see to it that justice is served.
It is pertinent to mention here that PTI has only 6 member majority in the national assembly and 11 members of Jahangir Tareen can bring down the government if they sided with opposition. The same group can also create lot of problems for provincial government of Punjab.
The existence of Jahangir Tareen group within PTI poses serious threat to the government of PM Imran Khan. And prime Minister knows that well. So he offered olive branch to this group to bring down the political temperature.
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