Tareen says PM has assured lawmakers of monitoring the issue 'personally'

PTI disgruntled leader rejects claims that he is in contact with other parties


Our Correspondent May 03, 2021
Jahangir Tareen. PHOTO: APP/ FILE

LAHORE:

Jahangir Tareen on Monday said Prime Minister Imran Khan has assured his friends – the ruling party lawmakers who have rallied around the PTI’s disgruntled leader – that “he [PM] is monitoring my matter personally".

"The PM met my friends and the meeting concluded on a positive note. My friends conveyed their concerns to the premier at length, who assured that he will see the matter personally," Tareen said while talking to the media after a court appearance.

"The premier assured that justice will be meted out," the PTI former secretary general said.

A total of 28 PTI lawmakers – including both National Assembly members and provincial assembly members – called on the prime minister on April 27 for “seeking justice” for Tareen who is among the sugar mills owners facing a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) crackdown.

According to sources, the lawmakers who now tag themselves as the “hum khayal” – like minded – group highlighted Jahangir Tareen’s contributions to the party and emphasized that they were not asking for any favour but only wanted justice for Tareen.

They also accused that Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar was targeting Tareen. They claimed that the investigation against the PTI leader was started after a sugar crisis “but when they could not find anything they started registering unrelated cases against Tareen”.

Also read There will be no injustice: PM tells Tareen group

During the meeting which lasted for almost one hour, the lawmakers had requested the premier to form a judicial commission to probe into allegations against Tareen.

The PM had turned down the request but tasked Senator Ali Zafar to look into their reservations and complain that Tareen is deliberately targeted; to hear both sides and to submit a report.

Tareen hoped that Ali Zafar would look into the matter and convey the truth to the prime minister. He, however, made it clear that he isn't afraid of an investigation.

“I am not running away from the cases; I am facing them in courts. We never asked for the case to be abolished. We only want a complete probe into the matter,” he added.

He noted that the FIA’s probe has been ongoing since last year. "We have submitted, not one, but thousands of documents to the FIA.

The PTI leader reiterated that he was wrongly booked in criminal cases.

"These are business-related cases that come under the jurisdiction of the SECP [Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan]. These cases do not involve loss to the exchequer so everyone knows that there are other reasons behind lodging these FIRs,” he added.

Tareen rejected the impression that he was in contact with other parties like the PPP or the PML-N. "I rather enjoy the support of many PTI lawmakers," he added. Prior to the hearing, his allies met him at his residence and expressed solidarity with the PTI leader.

Earlier, a district and sessions court as well as a banking court extended the interim bails granted to Tareen and his son Ali for two weeks – till May 19.

The FIA registered a total of three FIRs against Tareen, Ali and others under charges of money laundering, misappropriation of shareholders money and fraud in the sugar scam.

Two FIRs 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.

The third FIR alleged that Tareen fraudulently misappropriated money of shareholders after his company – the JDW group – transferred Rs3.14 billion to an associated private company – Farooqi Pulp Private Limited (FPML) – a company owned by his sons and close relatives.

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