Ties between PM and Jahangir Tareen turned sour recently, claims Raja Riaz

I can't even think about causing harm to the prime minister, says Tareen / Tareen’s guard booked for possessing illegal weapons

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Member of National Assembly (MNA) Raja Riaz has claimed on Thursday that the ties between the former secretary-general for the party, Jahangir Tareen, and Prime Minister Imran had soured recently, adding that the two had been in contact until the trust vote.

Speaking on a local TV programme, the MNA claimed that Tareen had assured PM Imran victory in the vote of confidence in the NA that took place after PTI’s candidate lost the general seat in the federal capital to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Riaz said that it was after the vote of confidence that communication between the two ended abruptly. He added that after this, action against the PTI stalwart was launched and three first information reports (FIRs) were registered against him.

“This raised the question that if Jahangir Tareen is not getting justice then how is the accountability of the opposition being done correctly?” said the MNA from Faisalabad.

On the other hand, Tareen on Thursday asserted he could not even think about “causing harm to Prime Minister Imran Khan”.

Tareen also denied reports that the PPP stalwart and leader of the opposition in the Senate Yousuf Raza Gillani had travelled on his plane.

“If Yousaf Raza Gillani used Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood’s plane, how is it my fault?” the estranged PTI leader asked.

His statements come one day after he had denied a claim made PPP leader Shehla Raza regarding his inclusion in the PPP and meeting with Asif Ali Zardari.

“An ongoing propaganda is being launched against me,” he had said while denying a Twitter message from PPP lawmaker Shehla.

The PTI leader had maintained that there was no truth in reports regarding his meeting with the PPP leadership and inclusion in the party. “Those running fake news against me will be disappointed,” he had said at the time.

On Thursday, the PTI leader alleged that the PM’s advisers, Azam Khan and Shahzad Akbar, were behind the misinformation regarding the plane, adding he had been supporting the premier with honesty and sincerity.

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

Separately, Lahore police on Thursday registered an FIR against Sajjad Ali, guard of PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, for bringing unlicensed weapons to the banking court during the hearing of Tareen’s case on Wednesday.

The case was lodged in the Islampura Police Station.

The security personnel deputed outside the Sessions Court had recovered arms from Sajjad outside the banking court.

Earlier this week, Tareen had asserted that future sales are a part of business everywhere and had asked the people to put an end to the smear campaign.

On Twitter, he had said, “Future sales are a normal part of business activity all over the world. It is used to secure future cash flow for normal business activity. It has nothing to do with Satta. All such sales are declared in JDW accounts in their entirety.”

The PTI leader had also posted screenshots of the London Sugar Future sales figures to help explain his point.

Furthermore, he had said: “Stop the smear campaign”.

Last week, the banking court in Lahore had granted one-week interim bail to PTI leader Jahangir Tareen and his son Ali Tareen in two cases of corporate fraud and money laundering.

Additional District And Sessions Judge Hamid Hussain, while accepting the request, had granted bails until April 10 against surety bonds of Rs0.5million apiece.

He had also directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to present its record against the accused in the next hearing.

The agency has booked Tareen and members of his family on charges of corporate fraud and money laundering.

The cases, filed on March 22, 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 and 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010.

In his response, Tareen had termed the charge sheet as “totally fabricated”.

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

Tareen had returned to Pakistan in November after ending his seven-month-long self-imposed exile after falling out with Prime Minister Imran Khan following an inquiry into the last year’s sugar scandal that accused several sugar producers — including him — of “underreported sales and fraud”.

At the time, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar had declared sugar-producing units under Tareen’s JDW-Group were found guilty of “double billing” and “over-invoicing” as well as “corporate fraud”.

Tareen had rejected the findings of the Sugar Inquiry Commission. “I am shocked at the kind of false allegations levelled against me. I have always run a clean business. All Pakistan knows I always pay full price to my growers,” he had said in a tweet.

“I DO NOT maintain 2 sets of Books. I pay all my taxes diligently. I will answer every allegation and be vindicated IA.”

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