Can't even think of causing harm to PM Imran, says Jahangir Tareen

FIA summons minister Bakhtiar’s brother in connection with sugar probe


​ Our Correspondents April 08, 2021
Jahangir Tareen. PHOTO: APP/ FILE

RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD:

Estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen on Thursday ruled out rifts between him and party chief Prime Minister Imran Khan, emphatically stating that he could not even think about "causing harm” to the premier.

The sugar baron also denied reports that PPP stalwart and Senate opposition leader Yousuf Raza Gilani had travelled in his plane.

“If he [Gilani] used Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood's [a senior PPP leader in Punjab] plane, how is that my fault?" the estranged PTI leader asked.

The former PTI general secretary added that he had been supporting the premier with honesty and sincerity.

"The government has been wrongly informed about the use of the [my] plane," he said, claiming that PM's advisers Azam Khan and Shahzad Akbar were behind it.

"My record is clean and I can't even think about causing harm to the prime minister," he maintained.

Also read PTI Punjab leaders accompany Tareen to court

Separately, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has summoned Makhdoom Shehryar, brother of Federal Economic Affairs Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, to its office on April 15 for his mill allegedly selling the sweetener through betting.

Shehryar has been told to bring along documents to explain to the interrogators the process through which his mill sold and booked orders for sugar.

The administration and shareholders have been accused of being involved with the gambling mafia.

The notice read that the mafia was minting illegal money with the help of sugar mill owners.

Bakhtiar distanced himself from the affairs of the mill saying that he previously had shares in the company but did not have them now.

Besides, Jahangir Tareen and his son Ali Tareen are also expected to submit their response on Friday (today) to the questionnaires handed over to them by the FIA corporate circle in connection with their sugar mills.

Sources said the FIA corporate circle was investigating into the sugar scandal and summoned mill owners for questioning.

The estranged PTI leader and his son were also summoned by the FIA but as they did not turn up, they have been directed to show up on Friday to submit their questionnaires.

According to the sources, Ali has been accused of defrauding shareholders in connivance with his father.

Tareen in his questionnaire has been asked to explain why did he sell sugarcane for Rs4.85 billion, a price he had fixed himself.

“How much did your family benefit at the expense of shareholders from this transaction?” the questionnaire read.

Similarly, the father and son duo have each been given five questions to respond to in another case.

Ali has been asked about why did the Tareen family sell off their JKFSL sugar business.

“Was the sale of the business advertised? How many potential buyers contacted the company and how much did they bid?” the questionnaire read.

The agency noted that the record of the JKFSL showed that it had suffered a loss of Rs326 million in 2013.

“Despite suffering losses, why was the sugarcane business sold to the JDW [also owned by Tareen] at an exorbitant price of Rs4.35 billion?”

Ali has been asked to provide the money trail of where the JKFSL spent the Rs4.35 billion.

Tareen has already refuted these charges, claiming they false and baseless.

Last month, the FIA booked the former PTI general secretary, his son Ali and other members of his family in separate cases on charges of financial embezzlement and money laundering.

The cases were registered under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating of public shareholders) and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), read with sections 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Responding to the charges, Tareen claimed on Twitter that the allegations against him and his family were “totally fabricated”.

"I have already submitted a detailed reply along with concrete evidence in response to the FIA notice. Unfortunate to see them go on another smear campaign against me & my family without establishing anything illegal," he wrote.

 

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