Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen has said that the close relationship he once had with Prime Minister Imran Khan is no longer there.
Tareen, who has been under fire after the sugar crisis inquiry report, told this to anchorperson Nadeem Malik on his show Monday night.
“See, obviously, the close relationship I had with him it isn’t like that now,” Tareen said. “That’s true.”
Asked about the reasons behind it, the PTI leader said he developed differences with PM’s principal secretary Azam Khan nearly six months ago.
He said he had advised the premier to establish a “strategic resource unit” under him to transform the country, with the bureaucracy having the role in execution of policies.
“Azam Khan said ‘we run the government and there cannot be an alternate system’,” Tareen said. He said the prime minister tried but his principal secretary didn’t budge.
Commenting on the sugar crisis report, the PTI leader said the ones who prepared it didn’t have the understanding of the market.
He said the crisis didn’t originate from the export of sugar. Tareen insisted that the report didn’t accuse him of doing anything wrong.
The anchorperson then asked him if he pressurised Asad Umar, who headed the Economic Coordination Committee, into giving approval for the export of sugar.
“Asad Umar makes his own decisions,” he replied. “No one can pressurise him.”
Tareen also spoke on the show about his opposition within the party. He said it was because of the ideological differences.
Bringing electables into the party fold was the basis of these differences, according to the PTI leader.
“After 2013 elections…I had informed Imran Khan that we will have to bring in political families,” he said. “Sixty percent members in the Punjab Assembly belong to political families.”
Questioned if he was behind Asad Umar’s removal as finance minister, Tareen denied it saying that Umar was not making the decisions the prime minister wanted him to make.
Regarding the cabinet reshuffle, he said it’s entirely the prime minister’s discretion, adding that people keep coming in and going out.
Asked about the Punjab CM, Tareen said Usman Buzdar was the prime minister’s choice and there is no alternative of him in Punjab.