Ups and downs in the Imran-Tareen relationship
ISLAMABAD: Relations between Prime Minister Imran Khan and his close assistant Jahangir Khan Tareen have witnessed ups and downs in recent months mainly due to ‘power games’ involving elected and unelected people who use their influence in the Prime Minister’s Building, sources to The News here.
The sources said Jahangir Khan Tareen, who is chairman of the government committee that is negotiating with the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), never bothered to ask permission from Prime Minister Imran Khan before giving assurances to him in mid-January this year that it would became granted administrative powers in three districts including Gujrat, Bahawalpur and Chakwal.
Likewise, the source said he also assured PML-Q that large funds would be given to members of the National Assembly and Punjab to carry out development projects in their constituencies without consulting with the Prime Minister’s Building.
The sources said Jahangir Khan Tareen’s decisive steps to himself gave the ‘Banigala Group’ consisting of his arch-rivals within the party to convince Prime Minister Imran Khan that his close aides passed through him and tried to run a ‘government in government’ ‘
Sources said when Prime Minister Imran Khan was sitting on a plane and was scheduled to leave Pakistan for Davos on January 21, he was given a paper containing the breakdown of subsidies given to sugar factory owners and the name Jahangir Tareen was at the top of the list. “Unauthorized political steps and its role in the sugar crisis are beginning to make Prime Minister Imran Khan’s thoughts towards his most trusted friend. Jahangir Tareen found out when the prime minister not only removed him from the government committee but later formed a committee to investigate the sugar crisis, “the source said.
The source said Prime Minister Imran Khan dissolved the committee led by Tareen and gave a mandate to Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to negotiate with PML-Q.
“Jahangir Khan Tareen who also held talks with the Mutahidda Qaumi-Pakistan Movement (MQM-P) then left Pakistan for London and even turned off his cellphone for some time,” the source said.
The sources said Jahangir Khan Tareen later decided to return to Pakistan to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reservation, but with disappointment, he was openly confronted by an influential bureaucrat in the Prime Minister’s Building who even misbehaved during phone calls. “Influential bureaucrats from the Administrative Group who now enjoy the trust of Prime Minister Imran Khan still think that Jahangir Khan Tareen had ruled it out in 2015 when he was the most favorite candidate to become chief secretary of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province,” the source said, adding that according This officer Jehangir Tareen acted as deputy prime minister.
They claimed it was another strong and clear message to Jahangir Khan Tareen that he had lost confidence in Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding, “He then thought it was best to go to Lodhran, his hometown, where he discussed the matter with his very close aides. . . “
Sources said Jahangir Khan Tareen later came to Islamabad and held a series of meetings with members of the national and provincial PTI assemblies mainly from Karachi who had expressed their objections to the two federal ministers – Ali Zaidi and Faisal Vawda.
“The meeting between members of the National Assembly and the provinces of PTI and Jahangir Khan Tareen also did not go well with Prime Minister Imran Khan who directed him to come to the Prime Minister’s Building for an emergency meeting,” the source said.
The source said Jahangir Khan Tareen came for the meeting on February 7 with a heavy heart because he learned that Prime Minister Imran Khan a few days ago gave a cold shoulder to Moonis Elahi during the scheduled meeting and even told him that his inclusion as a federal minister was not maybe because of the NAB case against him. “It was Jahangir Khan Tareen who as head of the previous government committee told Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi that Moonis Elahi would be included in the federal cabinet,” the source said.
The source said relations between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Jahangir Khan Tareen began to gradually improve in mid-March. They said the time came in late March when Prime Minister Imran Khan invited very few media people to the Prime Minister’s Building and told them that he had seen the initial draft report on the sugar crisis prepared by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the name Jahangir Khan Tareen and Khusro Bakhtiar are not mentioned anywhere in this report.
But then a big blow came from nowhere and leaked (even though the government claimed it was issued properly). The FIA report showed that Jahangir Khan Tareen along with other sugar barons benefited from the sugar export subsidies provided by the Punjab government, the source said. .
Although Jahangir Khan Tareen in a television interview hoping that he would improve relations with Prime Minister Imran Khan, now it all depends on the final FIA report on the sugar crisis that will be submitted to Prime Minister Imran Khan on April 25.