Prime Minister Imran Khan has reportedly reached out to “old friend” Jahangir Tareen in what appears to be a bid to ensure he hasn’t lost the disgruntled PTI stalwart to the opposition, which has been making overtures to him to support a possible no-confidence motion against the premier.
Similarly, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani approached the government’s important ally, the Chaudhrys of the PML-Q, to read their mind about the ongoing parleys with the opposition.
When asked to comment on the premier getting in touch with Tareen to inquire after him, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said: “I can neither deny nor confirm this.”
However, the minister was of the view that the opposition was bound to bite the dust at the end of the day in its effort to oust PM Khan.
“It is hard to understand the opposition’s agenda, which is so complicated that even its own members are confused,” Fawad remarked.
On the other hand, Tareen left for London for treatment as he has apparently not been well lately.
An insider said that before his departure, PM Khan telephoned and inquired after him. “It was a good gesture by PM Khan and may help restore the relations between them,” he added.
“Who knows, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Tareen may even establish direct contact with each other with both being in London,” he said.
The relations between PM Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen had soured following the sugar scam.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif also expressed his concerns over the health of Tareen and prayed for his speedy recovery.
On Friday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had claimed to have requested the premier to talk to his “old friend”, but some PTI members did not approve of the idea.
“If rivals can meet after 14 years (a reference to Shehbaz and Chaudhrys of the PML-Q), why can’t Imran meet Tareen, as they both are friends?” he had questioned.
Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak also claimed that seven opposition MNAs were in contact with the ruling party and at an appropriate time he would announce how to bring the opposition members to their side. Khattak believed the allies would remain loyal to the PTI.
After meeting the Senate chairman in Lahore, PML-Q senior leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi said: “The people had given a five-year mandate to the PTI and we will not allow parliamentary traditions to be trampled.”
He said every democratic government had the right to be allowed to complete the period given for public service, adding the ongoing consultations and meetings were part of the political process.
“Any decision will be taken after consultation with the parliamentary party. In the current political situation, national interest is supreme and we have a keen eye on the changing political climate; we want practical steps to be taken to provide immediate relief to the people,” Elahi stressed.
Senate Chairman Sanjrani hoped the Chaudhrys would find a way out in this political milieu since they were keeping a close watch on the ever-developing scenario. He also inquired after PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.