Says at least 30 lawmakers support the estranged PTI leader
Punjab MPA Khurram Laghari said on Wednesday that he wasn’t answerable to the PTI because he didn’t contest the election on its ticket.
“Questions and answers are done, when you contest election on the party ticket,” said Laghari, who was elected as an MPA after independently contesting the election in Muzaffargarh. He later joined the PTI after a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“We came [to the PTI] independent and we were brought by Jahangir Tareen,” Laghari told SAMAA TV’s Kiran Naz. “We joined the party because of Jahangir Tareen.”
Tareen, once a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan, was sidelined by the PTI after an inquiry on the 2020 sugar crisis accused him of benefiting the most from it.
The estranged PTI leader is currently facing money laundering and fraud cases.
“We will stay with whoever brought us to the PTI,” the MPA said. “We will agree with whatever decision Tareen takes.”
Tareen has the support of 30 to 35 MPAs and some ministers in Punjab, according to Laghari.
Tareen, who appeared before a Lahore banking court Wednesday morning, said he has been silent for almost a year after being sidelined by the PTI.
“What more proof of loyalty do you need,” he questioned. “I was a friend, why am I being pushed towards enmity?”
Tareen had played a key role in establishing the PTI’s government in Punjab. Soon after the 2018 election, he actively approached several independent MPAs and MNAs and convinced them to join the PTI.
In an interview with SAMAA TV last year, the estranged PTI leader had said that his private jet wasn’t used to transport the lawmakers to Islamabad for meetings.
The plane used to transport them at the time of the government’s formation was rented from elsewhere, he had said.
“There is nothing bad in this,” he had said. “If we want the MPAs and MNAs to join us and if we brought them on our plane, then no one should have an objection to it.”