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PTI Punjab MPA hints at causing difficulties in budget approval

Says Jahangir Tareen has support of 70 parliamentarians

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 21, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Apr 21, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago

PTI Punjab MPA Khurram Sohail Khan Laghari said on Wednesday that the like-minded group of his party could create problems in getting the budget approved, if their reservations regarding Jahangir Tareen were not addressed.

He said this during an exclusive interview with SAMAA TV.

“We will not negotiate with anybody, except Imran Khan,” he said. “Sixty parliamentarians are backing us, while ten others are suicide bombers.”

Laghari said the prime minister refusing to meet them would make no difference.

“Everyone will come to know what unfolds on the budget day," he said. "Maybe we will set it aside.”

The PTI MPA said the group would do Tareen’s bidding, adding that they were aware of the ones causing rifts within the party.

“People close to him have been ministers in the tenures of the PPP, PML-Q and the PML-N…and now they are PTI ministers," he lamented, questioning, "When will this country change?”

Laghari lamented that PM Khan considered Tareen his aide as long as it afforded him perks, but started defaming him when he could not do so.

Tareen and the like-minded group

Jahangir Tareen, an influential sugar baron who was once a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan, was sidelined by the PTI after an inquiry commission on the 2020 sugar crisis accused him of benefitting the most from it.

The report said that six major groups control 51% of the total sugar production. Tareen’s JDW mill has the biggest share that is 20% of the total production.

On March 22, the Federal Investigation Agency filed two FIRs against the estranged PTI leader, accusing him of Rs3.14 billion fraud. The agency also named Tareen’s son Ali Tareen and son-in-law Waleed Akbar Faruki in the cases.

Several PTI lawmakers have since extended their support to Tareen. They have accompanied the father-son duo to courts for hearings of corruption cases against them.

Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed earlier said the PTI and Tareen were “two separate things” and the ruling party no longer required his services.

The PTI group that supports Tareen recently requested a meeting with the prime minister, which was accepted. But the meeting has yet to be held.

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