LAHORE: After a five-month absence, estranged PTI senior leader Jahangir Tareen returned to the region, sending a hopeful opening to Prime Minister Imran Khan ‘s government shortly after his arrival here on Friday afternoon.
Mr Tareen said he would continue to support the government in its attempts to manage the shortage of sugar and the increase in prices.
He said in a tweet: “Let me state for the record that JDW is NOT part of the petition against the notification by the Punjab government to launch sugar mills on Nov 10th.” All of my mills are going to start crushing on the 10th, including those in Sindh. Will play a role in helping the government resolve the lack of sugar and price hikes.
Let me state for the record that JDW is NOT part of the petition against GOPb notification to start sugar Mills on 10th Nov. All of my mills, including those in Sind will start crushing on 10th. Will play my part in helping the Govt overcome the sugar shortage and price hike
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) November 6, 2020
Mr. Tareen, a close confidant of PM Khan and former PTI Secretary General, had left Pakistan shortly after the government released in June its much-trumpeted sugar inquiry commission report, which exposed the names of numerous players who had benefited from the sugar crisis, including Mr. Tareen and Khusro Bakhtiar. However, Mr Tareen had said he was going abroad for his medical care and would return in the midst of the tirade of opposition parties that Imran Khan allowed his close confidant to leave the country.
Mr. Tareen, who, along with his son, Ali Tareen, landed at Lahore airport, told the media that he had left for his medical care in London and that he had properly notified the government. He said he had been going to London for medical attention for the past seven years, and he was there for the same reason this time too.
Responding to a query on corruption and other charges posed by the opposition, Mr. Tareen claimed that he was not obligated to respond to the allegations of the opposition because he proceeded to point an accusing finger at his critics. “I don’t have to hide anything. My organisation is safe and clear, and there are no questions about it, ” he added.
However, Mr Tareen did not say a thing about joining the sugar fraud inquiry launched by the Federal Investigation Agency. Mr Tareen had demanded a reply from the FIA and summoned him to investigate.
He had declined the summons originally. Later, he called for more time for the department to respond to his questions. He had suggested that if he returned to Pakistan after his treatment in the United Kingdom, he would appear before the FIA.
Information of Mr. Tareen ‘s properties in Pakistan and abroad, his bank transactions, especially money transfers abroad, the bank accounts of his family members and his employees, and his JDW company’s sugar-related transactions were pursued by the FIA.
The estranged exit of the PTI leader in June this year also caused an opposition reaction. Prime Minister Khan was accused by PML-N lawmakers of encouraging Jahangir Tareen to flee the country and seeking limited transparency.
On the orders of the prime minister, when the sugar inquiry report was made public, he had himself claimed that Mr. Tareen must clean up the allegations he was facing in the scandal.
Ali Tareen returned at a time when his Multan Sultan cricket team was leading the Pakistan Super League Point Table.
Published in Dharti News, November 7th, 2020