LAHORE: It seems the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is facing strong internal opposition after a “group of 30 lawmakers” led by Jahangir Khan Tareen accompanied the disgruntled PTI leader on his appearance before a banking court in Lahore for bail in cases against him.
Tareen, once a right-hand of Prime Minister Imran Khan, has been facing cases in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over alleged money laundering and involvement in a mega sugar scam.
PTI MNA Raja Riaz said 30 lawmakers came to the hearing with Tareen. These lawmakers, including aides to Punjab CM Usman Buzdar, came to Tareen’s residence before the hearing. “All the supporters of the estranged PTI leader had come to court, with Tareen from his residence, in a single van,” a local media outlet reported.
Tareen was granted bail in the fraud case till 17th. Speaking to reporters, the PTI leader said he didn’t trust the investigation team probing his case, demanding an impartial and fair investigation into his assets.
Tareen also dismissed rumours about leaving the PTI. “We are the party and we will remain in it. If we don’t stay then where will we go,” asked Tareen. He said that he will be “vindicated” by the courts.
On Friday, the dinner thrown by Tareen was attended by eight MNAs, including two ministers, and 10 MPAs, according to a report.
This is not the first time that Tareen has flexed his political muscles. Last week, Tareen appeared before a banking court in Lahore for his pre-arrest bail with a group of PTI lawmakers, including Raja Riaz. On the occasion, Tareen complained to PM Imran about the treatment meted out to him, saying he was a “friend” but he was being pushed towards becoming an enemy.
Raja Riaz had also talked to the media and expressed his support for the once PTI kingmaker. He had the PM was being misinformed by the people around him.
Raja Riaz, provincial minister Nauman Langrial, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Nazir Baloch, Suleman Naeem, Khurram Leghari, Aslam Bharwana, Ameer Mohammad Khan and Tahir Randhawa were among those who had pledged their loyalty to the former secretary general of the PTI and sought ‘justice’ for him from Imran Khan.
It is being said that Tareen is still on good terms with the establishment which was why the lawmakers were standing firmly behind him.
Meanwhile, PM Imran held a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Friday during his visit to Lahore. During the discussion, the premier was assured the group of lawmakers supporting Tareen would lose its political clout once Tareen’s bail is cancelled.
PM Imran is also in no hurry to take action against these lawmakers, despite knowing their exact number and the trouble they can put him in in the future.