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LAHORE: Former Punjab senior minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Abdul Aleem Khan announced on Monday to join the Jahangir Tareen Group (JTG) with an aim of ‘saving’ the party from ‘opportunists’.

The announcement came after the members of the group met at Tareen’s residence. Provincial ministers Saeed Akbar Nanwani, Nauman Langrial, Ajmal Cheema as well as MPAs Khurram Leghari, Abdul Hai Dasti, Lala Tahir Randhawa, Salman Naeem, Aslam Bharwana, Saeed Nawani, Zawar Hussain, Bilal Warraich, Amin Chaudry and Qasim Langah were also among the participants.

While addressing a press briefing after the conclusion of the meeting, he felt that the party loyalists were sidelined after the party came into power; “the people who struggled for the party were sidelined while the opportunists took the front seats”.

He praised the contribution of former PTI general secretary and disgruntled senior leader Jahangir Khan to the party and lauded his efforts for remaining ‘determined to his cause’; “Tareen played a vital role in leading the party to the power”. He also praised all the PTI members who stood by Tareen in his difficult times.

“I had asked former provincial minister Saeed Akbar Nanwani to arrange the meeting at Tareen’s residence in order to show solidarity with Tareen and send a message that despite his absence, he is not forgotten,” he added.

He wondered as to why Tareen was not given the importance after the party came into power. “All those who struggled alongside Imran Khan for a ‘Naya Pakistan’ were sidelined, and the reason still eludes us. It is unfortunate that Tareen among others was sidelined,” he added.

“Both the PTI voters and loyalists are upset over the dismal performance of the Punjab government and thus we decided to form a group of like-minded people who had sacrificed for the party. The like-minded group will work to save the party and Tareen will also return to Pakistan in a few days,” he added. He called on all groups within the party to come together and strengthen it.

He told the media that for the past few days, he had been in contact with over 40 MPAs and a majority of them conveyed their concern over the poor performance of the Punjab government. When asked about the no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, initially he avoided the question, but later said that “if a no-trust motion is moved, we will make a decision together”.

Meanwhile, as per the sources, Tareen joined the meeting through a video link from London and discussed the prevailing political situation in the country.

They also said that in the past few days, Aleem Khan has been holding meetings with over 40 members of provincial legislators, including provincial ministers. The names of these MPAs, however, have been kept secret till the current political scenario becomes clear, they added. They also said that Aleem Khan has been approached by the senior leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in connection with the no-trust motion.

Meanwhile, Punjab Wildlife and Fisheries Minister Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari denied the reports aired on a private TV channel that he attended the meeting at Tareen’s residence. “I am present in my office and performing official duties,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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