With the damning investigation report on the recent sugar crisis making headlines and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen being named as one of the people who allegedly benefited from the economic disaster, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, to whom Tareen has always been more than just a colleague, is feeling betrayed, The News has reported.
Earlier this year, following the shortage of wheat flour in the country and the subsequent price hike, sugar had also gone missing from the market. Taking notice of the situation, the premier had formed a committee to find out those responsible for the crises.
On Saturday, the inquiry report on sugar crisis had named PTI bigwig Tareen, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Moonis Elahi and a relative of then minister for national food security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar as the beneficiaries of the price hike.
On Sunday, PM Imran had said that he was waiting for the detailed forensic reports, slated to come out on April 25, before taking any action against those responsible and on Monday he had reshuffled the federal cabinet which saw Bakhtiar being replaced. Tareen was also removed from the Agriculture Task Force among other changes.
Soon after the reshuffle, reports claimed that the premier was “feeling betrayed by once his closest aide Tareen”, who, despite having been disqualified by the apex court, was given the informal role of deputy PM to help the PTI government deliver.
“Tareen was given immense power, informally, to reform the agriculture sector, his choice men were appointed in the cabinet as well as in the bureaucracy both in the Centre and Punjab. But, it all ended up not only in failures but caused major scandals of wheat and sugar,” the report said and further claimed that Tareen had “thoroughly disappointed Imran, who now thinks that he had bet on a wrong horse”.
The latest reshuffle in the cabinet and bureaucracy, these report said, was a clear message for all and sundry both within the PTI and in the government that Tareen was out and so was his influence. “With these changes, the PTI Jahangir Tareen group meets its end.”
It also said that what happened on Monday was not the climax and “a lot will happen after April 25 when the Sugar Commission will submit its report on how the sugar mafia operates”.
“There will be criminal proceedings, possible arrests and institutional actions by [the] FBR [Federal Board of Revenue], SECP [Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan] etc,” it added.