Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen on Thursday said he has neither met Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif nor did he wish to and that the media cell of the former premier’s party was spreading fake news.
In an audio statement, Tareen — whose relationship with the PTI seems to have fallen apart — said “our struggle has been against them”, referring to the PML-N.
“I have neither met Nawaz Sharif nor do I wish to [meet him],” he said.
“I am not an opportunistic politician to go to them [Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N] just because I have developed differences with Imran Khan,” he said of the premier.
“I am a principled politician, I tried my best with the PTI,” he added, noting that if there were any problems, it was not his fault. “I am just sitting separately; whatever is acceptable to God will happen.”
Meanwhile, reports quoted senior leaders of the PML-N as confirming that there had been no meeting between Nawaz and Tareen, that they had neither approached Tareen for such a meeting nor do they plan to do so.
‘NOT ON TALKING TERMS WITH IMRAN’:
The claims rebutted by Tareen had come amid reports that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and his former friend and leading PTI stalwart Tareen were no longer on talking terms as the latter ponders his political future from his Newbury farmhouse just outside of London.
According to The News, PM Imran has not spoken to Tareen, the former secretary general of PTI and its main sponsor and patron, in several weeks and their relationship of warmth and trust at this point of time is non-existent.
Tareen jetted off to London two weeks ago in a chartered plane and said he was travelling for medical treatment. He 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 with how his colleagues have treated him and believes that he was shed off like dead weight by the very people who used to fawn upon him.
Another source close to Tareen said that people around Imran and some bureaucrats had become insecure of him as he advised Imran to reduce the role of bureaucracy to improve governance. The source said that Tareen has made more contributions for the growth of PTI than all others put together but none of this was counted when it came to his alleged involvement in the sugar crisis.
The former powerhouse of PTI is of the view, according to the source, that the premier didn’t come to his aide as he has been surrounded by a coterie of bureaucrats who have been feeding him false information.
The sources in government said that PM Imran is neutral viz a viz Sugar Commission Inquiry and will not interfere to save or persecute anyone. They added that the PM will not give favours to anyone.
As Tareen left Pakistan, speculations emerged that he had left 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 was best to be out of Pakistan for sometime and that the PTI govt provided him a passage to fly out while keeping accused opposition figures on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Tareen, however, says that he will return to Pakistan once his treatment is completed but has not given any timeframe and many believe that he is in important discussions about the events that will unfold when he is back in Pakistan.