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Pakistan

Tareen refutes reports of split in PTI, says we are part of the party

  • Estranged PTI leader accused the Punjab government of initiating "revenge actions" against his close members
  • Tareen appointed Raja Riaz as the parliamentary leader of the group in the National Assembly, while Saeed Akbar Nawani will be the parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly
Published May 19, 2021
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(Karachi) Refuting media reports, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen has dispelled the impression that there is a split in the party, saying he has not formed any forward bloc in the PTI.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Tareen denied forming a forward bloc in the party, saying: "We were part of the PTI, we are part of the PTI and we will continue to remain part of the PTI."

He added, "We have appointed a focal person to represent us in the assembly. Let me make it clear that we are and will continue to be a part of the PTI."

Tareen stated that there are two issues, one is related to the FIRs filed against him while the other issue is about the Punjab government's actions. "When my allies met the prime minister, he appointed Ali Zafar with the task to meet both sides and ensure justice by meeting both the FIA and us and determine the reality of the issue."

He said that Ali Zafar’s report would be out soon.

Formation of separate group

On May 18, Jahangir Tareen decided to form a separate group of like-minded people in the National and Punjab assemblies.

The estranged PTI leader announced the decision during a dinner at his residence which was attended by 31 lawmakers. He accused the Punjab government of initiating "revenge actions" against his close members.

Tareen has appointed Raja Riaz as the parliamentary leader of the group in the National Assembly, while Saeed Akbar Nawani will be the parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly.

He stated that there is no investigation going on against him related to the sugar scandal. He maintained that "fake" FIRs were registered against him. "Khan Sahab is an honorable man and I believe he is just," said Tareen. "However, the Punjab government has started taking vendetta against members of my group," he added.

The backdrop

The Federal Investigation Agency filed FIRs against former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen, his son Ali Tareen, and other family members in the sugar scandal and money laundering charges.

Tareen is accused of transferring over Rs3 billion from JDW company to his son-in-law's closed paper manufacturing company Farooqui Pulp. The investigation agency has also charged Tareen and others for illegal hoarding of sugar, misappropriation, and cheating in the FIR.

The FIA alleged that the money was later transferred to the accounts of different members of the Tareen family. Also, the former PTI leader and his family members are accused of being involved in purchasing US dollars from the open market and transferring them into their overseas accounts.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered the FBR officials to initiate across-the-board action against the “sugar mafia” and submit a detailed report in this regard.

He expressed resentment over the Federal Board of Revenue’s performance, as it failed to show any recoveries from sugar mills owned by prominent personalities.

The FBR presented a report showing recoveries of more than Rs400 billion from sugar mills on the orders of the premier. The report, however, only showed the amount recovered from small companies and failed to show any recoveries from the ‘big fish’.

The premier directed the officials to take action against those involved in the sugar scam without any discrimination.

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