Sources said the two leaders had continued contact; the meeting will take place after the investigation team submits a report
Sources said the two leaders had continued contact; the meeting will take place after the investigation team submits a report. PHOTO: FILE
ISLAMABAD: Relations between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the ruling party’s senior leader, Jahangir Khan Tareen, are melting and the two are expected to meet after a panel investigating the sugar crisis releases its latest report.
Tareen, an ultra-rich man who can be chosen from southern Punjab, is considered one of Prime Minister Imran’s closest aides.
However, a chasm arose in their relations after the government last month launched a report by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) led by an inquiry commission that revealed that Tareen was among the beneficiaries of the sugar crisis that hit the country in January.
Tareen in an interview admitted that now his relationship with PM was not friendly.
However, a close aide to the former PTI secretary general told The Express Tribune that the two leaders had continued contact with each other via SMS and WhatsApp messages. “The meeting will be held between the two leaders after the release of the commission’s forensic report on the sugar crisis,” he said.
He accused Prime Minister Azam Khan’s Principal Secretary and Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar for trying hard to create a rift between Imran and Tareen. He claimed that the basic purpose behind issuing the sugar crisis report was only to defame the PTI leader from Lodhran.
He said the commission could not find evidence that Tareen had made a mistake. “Even sugar subsidies are given with the approval of the federal cabinet,” he said.
He said most of the voters in PTI supported Tareen in these difficult times.
“They are not satisfied with federal and Punjab government officials who have failed to resolve complaints related to their constituencies,” he said.
There seems to be a cold war between unelected advisers and special assistants in the prime minister’s cabinet and elected MPs. About 15 special advisers and assistants who are not selected are part of the federal cabinet and enjoy the status of federal and state ministers.
Their appointment has been challenged in the top court.
According to sources, the prime minister needed Tareen’s support for the smooth functioning of the Punjab government as one of PTI’s main allies in Punjab, PML-Q, apparently unhappy with PM Imran Khan.
Some sources claim that after releasing the FIA investigation report, Tareen himself suspected that the commission was targeting it. According to sources, the largest opposition party, PML-N, also wants to raise the issue of the sugar crisis in parliament.
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