Jehangir Tareen skips party meeting chaired by Shah Mehmood Qureshi

According to insiders, the two leaders are in a dispute over management of party affairs, selection of candidates


Danish Hussain May 24, 2018
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chairman takes up role of mediator as tensions between senior party leaders rise.

However, the party chief’s efforts to mend fences between Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jehangir Khan Tareen apparently went in vain as Tareen on Wednesday preferred to skip an internal party meeting chaired by Qureshi.

A five-member scrutiny committee headed by PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi conducted interviews of some 20 party ticket aspirants for three national assembly constituencies in the federal capital.

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Party’s former secretary general Jehangir Tareen is also a member of the committee besides Naeemul Haq, Asad Umar, and Raja Khurrum Nawaz.  A member of the committee told The Express Tribune that Tareen cited a ‘prior commitment’ and requested the panel to proceed in his absence. However, he repelled the impression of differences and clarified that it has nothing to do with the exchange of argument between the two the other day.

However, according to party insiders, Tareen and Qureshi are in a dispute over management of party affairs and selection of party candidates especially from West and South Punjab for the upcoming polls. And this dispute is getting worse as the process of finalising candidates and awarding party tickets gets closer.

These differences also came to limelight on Tuesday when both the leaders got involved in a heated exchange during a party meeting chaired by Imran Khan himself.

During the meeting Qureshi had questioned decisions about West Punjab taken by former president of the region Rai Hassan Nawaz. Hassan was disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Election Commission of Pakistan had barred him from running party affairs in the region.

Tareen, Qureshi exchange barbs at PTI meeting

Interestingly, Hassan is stated close to Tareen and Qureshi’s argument infuriated the former general secretary who took offence at his remarks as he was also disqualified by the apex court.

According to a report, Imran then intervened to defuse the tensions but failed as Tareen has decided to skip a meeting chaired by Qureshi.

Meanwhile, a member of the committee said that on Wednesday scrutiny board conducted interviews of some 20 out of total 21 party leaders who applied for party tickets from three NA seats falling in the capital.

Ticket aspirants include Asad Umar, Saifullah Khan Niazi, Dr Babar Awan, Amir Mughal, Ilyas Meharban, Amir Kiyani, Ali Awan, Ali Bokhari, Raja Khurrum Nawaz, Abida Raja, Syed Hasnain Haider and others.

Naeem clarifies

Senior PTI leader Naeemul Haq defended his act of physically attacking a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker the other day during a talk show on a private television channel but at the same time he termed it ‘unfortunate’.

“While, it was an unfortunate spur of the moment reaction, Danial Aziz’s abusive language against my leadership and his attack on Pakistan Army are regrettable, unacceptable and condemnable. I hope he can mend his ways and stop spinning mistruths,” Haq reacted on micro-blogging website, Twitter.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Daniyal Aziz has alleged that the incident was ‘pre-planned’. “It shows the frustration of PTI leaders and their handlers,” he said.

“Despite throwing their weight behind the Army and the judiciary, their public support dwindles daily, leading to internal rifts between the top leadership,” Aziz said, adding instead of promoting Pakistan along the lines of development, PTI was promoting a culture that was polarising Pakistani society.

On the other hand, PTI’s Iftikhar Durrani, head of the party’s media department, told The Express Tribune that Aziz had ‘intimidated’ Haque into reacting in a violent manner.

“Aziz is one of the PML-N leaders who frequently use foul language on TV channels. He has been appointed merely for shoe-shining of ousted prime minister Sharif and has no credentials to become a minister,” said Durrani. “It is their hallmark – PML-N is the custodian of vulgar language in the political history of Pakistan.”

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