LONDON: Prime Minister Imran Khan and his former friend and leading PTI stalwart Jahangir Tareen are no more on talking terms as Tareen ponders his political future from his Newbury farmhouse just outside of London, trusted sources within the government and Tareen camp have confirmed.
PM Imran Khan has not spoken to Tareen, the former Secretary General of PTI and its main sponsor,and patron in several weeks and there’s no communication between them at the moment and the relationship of warmth and trust at this point of time is non-existent, sources confirmed.
Tareen jetted off to London two weeks in a chartered plane and said he was travelling to London for medical treatment. Tareen didn’t respond to requests for interview and has stayed quiet but sources close to him have shared details of Tareen’s state of mind and his stance.
Tareen is not happy in the manner his own colleagues have treated him and he believes that he was shed off like a dead weight by the very people who used to fawn upon him till recently, said the source.
Another source close to Jahangir Tareen said that people around Imran Khan and some bureaucrats became insecure of him as he advised Imran Khan to reduce the role of bureaucracy to improve governance and business but his ideas were not liked. The source said that Tareen has made more contribution for the growth of PTI than all others put together but none of this was counted. The first source confirmed that Tareen and PM Khan have not spoken to each other in several weeks and the communication is broken down.
The former powerhouse of PTI is of the view, according to the source, that Prime Minister Imran Khan didn’t come to his aide as he has been surrounded by a coterie of bureaucrats who have been feeding him false information on him.
The sources in govt said that PM Imran Khan is neutral viz a viz Sugar Commission Inquiry and will not interfere to save or persecute anyone. The sources in govt said that PM Imran Khan will push ahead regardless of the consequences and will not give favours to anyone.
As Tareen left Pakistan, speculations emerged that Tareen had left Pakistan to save himself before the start of government’s punitive action on the findings of the report of Sugar Inquiry Commission that implicated PTI leader and other leading political figures and businessmen in sugar scam.
Tareen has denied all speculations but it has been claimed, including in the National Assembly, that Tareen thought it best to be out of Pakistan for sometime and that the PTI govt provided him passage to fly out while keeping opposition figures on the Exit Control List (ECL) who have allegations against them, like Tareen and many in PTI has, but nothing proven against them but unable to fly out of Pakistan. Tareen has said that he will return to Pakistan once his treatment is completed but he has not given a time frame and many believe that he is in important discussion about the events that will unfold when he is back in Pakistan.
Sources have said that Tareen has spent most of his time on his palatial Newbury farm, called Hyde House, with his son and he has spent sometime in Central London as well. Media reports have claimed that he also visited Switzerland for important discussions about his financial affairs.
Claims have been made over a week that Tareen attempted to speak to Nawaz Sharif through a trusted mutual contact but Sharif refused to open communications and asked his party leadership not to entertain the idea. On Wednesday, a social media page run by Tareen’s social media team denied any such development and said Tareen had “struggled against Nawaz Sharif and Zaradri for ten years and he’s not a fool” to shake hands with PML-N and PPP.
Sharif family sources refused to confirm or deny reports that efforts were made to facilitate contact between Tareen and Sharifs.
Separately, sources close to Tareen have shared that he has held important meetings in London and will be holding important conversations in coming days to chart out a plan for his future politics. The sources said that Tareen’s future in Pakistani politics will remain relevant always but there are big questions about his future in PTI.
The Sugar Commission report has revealed that sugar barons were involved in alleged fraudulent activities include fudging the production cost to claim subsidies, manipulating the market, underreporting their sales, committing fraud and exploiting farmers. The report has said that the sugar barons raked in a “windfall profit” of Rs100 billion during the sugar crisis this year alone.
The stakeholders of the mills involved in wrongdoing, according to the report, include Jahangir Tareen, PML-Q’s Moonis Elahi, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s son Suleman Shahbaz, Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtyar’s relative Omar Shehryar and the Omni Group.