Tareen resigns as PTI general secretary following disqualification verdict

Published: December 16, 2017
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ISLAMABAD: Jahangir Tareen on Saturday tendered his resignation as general secretary of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after his disqualification by the Supreme Court, but the Imran Khan-led party announced it would keep the post vacant until the decision on a review petition Tareen would file against the court order.

Announcing two verdicts on constitutional petitions filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi seeking disqualification of party chairman Khan and general secretary Tareen on different grounds, the Supreme Court on Friday gave a clean chit to Khan but disqualified Tareen.

The bench disqualified Tareen on very similar grounds to those used by the SC’s larger bench to oust former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on July 28 in the Panama Papers case. The court, however, did not pass any direction regarding allegations of corruption against Tareen.

Tareen, who intends to file the review petition in the next couple of days, will in the meanwhile not perform his duties as PTI secretary general. This was decided during a meeting of the PTI’s core group at Khan’s Bani Gala residence on Saturday.

After the meeting, the party categorically clarified that in a bid to keep Tareen on the post, it would not get benefit from clause 203 of the Election Act, 2017.  The clause, recently introduced in the wake of former premier Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification, enables a disqualified individual to hold any party office.

“A status quo has been maintained. Meanwhile, no new secretary general will be appointed until a decision on Tareen’s review petition,” said PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry.

The core group welcomed the Supreme Court verdict in the case, saying it stamped on the honesty of the PTI chairman. It, however, said there was no comparison between the cases of Tareen and Sharifs.

“Tareen has laid a valuable tradition in the country’s politics by voluntarily resigning from party position instead of bashing the judges,” the party said, adding all the accusations of financial wrongdoings leveled against Tareen by the PML-N had been dropped by the court.

The PTI said that Tareen, unlike Sharif, was not dubbed as ‘godfather’, ‘Sicilian mafia’ or ‘corrupt’ by the apex court. The PTI announced it would support and defend Tareen’s review petition in the court.

Earlier in the day, Tareen handed over his resignation to Khan during a one-on-one meeting at the former’s residence in Islamabad. In his resignation, Tareen wrote the SC had disqualified him on interpretation of a legal term.

“It is disappointing that the country’s highest tax paying parliamentarian stands disqualified on a flimsy technical ground. But since the highest court of Pakistan has concluded that I am not qualified to continue as a member of assembly I bow my head in compliance of that order,” he wrote.

Tareen said he had spent all his life on principles and moral values and felt that morally it was not justified for him to continue as PTI secretary general.

Disqualification 2.0: Jahangir Tareen’s political journey

“It is hereby for the reasons mentioned above. I humbly submit my resignation from the post of Secretary General of PTI. From onwards, I will continue to work for the betterment of the country and the PTI as its ordinary worker,” he added.

The PTI also announced initiating legal course of action against all those, including Jang/Geo group, who indulged in character assassination of Khan during the period the SC heard the petition against him.

Hudabiya Case

The PTI core committee also discussed in detail the Supreme Court decision against reopening of the Hudabiya Paper Mills case and alleged that the decision had come due to weak prosecution by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

PHOTO: EXPRESS

PHOTO: PTI

The party also formed a five-member committee headed by Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi to look into the Hudabiya case and suggest a way forward to the PTI chairman. Other members of the committee include Asad Umar, Shafqat Mehmood, Fawad Chaudhry, and Babar Awan.

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