LAHORE: Embattled PTI stalwart Jahangir Tareen, who is facing multiple cases, has called for a “fair team” to investigate his case, as he believes that the officers investigating him are “controversial”.
“[Hold an] inquiry but make a transparent team that is not controversial. The team that is [currently] investigating is not fair,” Jahangir Tareen told the media after making appearances before sessions and banking courts for an extension in his bail.
The PTI stalwart further demanded that the team investigating him, should not be such that it “works on a phone call” and called for a new team to investigate him.
He claimed that the FIR against him was “made in Islamabad and signed in Lahore”, after which it was sent to the provincial capital “in a USB”.
He repeated that the probe should be fair and transparent. He added that he was not running away from the law and will “never” do so.
During the media talk, he, once again, dismissed the claims that he was leaving the ruling party.
“We are the party and we will remain in it. If we don’t stay, where will we go,” asked Tareen. He vowed that he will be vindicated by the courts.
He also thanked the PTI MPAs, MNAs and ministers that came to support him during the hearing.
Earlier, before the hearing, a group of PTI MNAs, MPAs, ministers and advisers to CM Punjab came to Tareen’s residence and as a show of support accompanied him to his court appearance.
All the supporters of the estranged PTI leader had come to court, with Tareen from his residence, in a single van.
As per PTI MNA Raja Riaz, Tareen came to the hearing with 22 MPAs and 8 MNAs. The group also included provincial minister Nauman Langrial, MPAs Nazeer Chohan, Iftikhar Gondal, Amin Chaudhry, Khurram Laghari, Awn Chaudhry, Raja Riaz and others.
“We are with PTI Quaid Jahangir Tareen,” said MNA Raja Riaz while speaking to the media. He clarified that their captain was Imran Khan.
Riaz, told the journalists, that the lawmakers that were supporting Tareen were not “blackmailers” and added that they are sympathetic to the PTI and wanted to make the party stronger.
“Those who are conspiring against Jahangir Tareen are conspiring against Imran Khan and PTI,” said Riaz, who has been standing by Tareen ever since the case against him came forward.
The PTI MNA asked PM Imran Khan to think about the case registered against Tareen as he believed it was a “conspiracy”. He added that there were “some people” with the PM that were “targeting” Tareen.
The MNA from Faisalabad said that Tareen was not seeking concessions from the court and assured everyone that the PTI leader will be exonerated by the courts.
“Jahangir Tareen is facing the false cases registered against him in court,” said Riaz in his passionate defence of the PTI stalwart.
“Our captain is Imran Khan and we seek justice from him,” said Riaz. He repeated that the lawmakers standing with Tareen want to see the PTI get stronger.
Riaz further said that there was no need for the PM to be “angry” with them as they were seeking an investigation team with “honest” people in it.
“We want justice from Tehreek-e-Insaf,” said Riaz.
On the other hand, Punjab Minister for Management and Professional Development Nauman Langrial appealed to other PTI members to make Jahangir Tareen “stronger”.
The minister said that it was Tareen who invited them to the PTI and gave them “respect”.
“We will help Jahangir Tareen and stay with him and make the party stronger,” said Langrial. He added that those who want the PTI to become weak want to weaken the country.
Meanwhile, PTI MPA from Lahore Nazeer Chohan, in his media talk, questioned the role of adviser to PM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar.
“I am an MPA from Lahore, what does Shehzad Akbar have, what is his qualification,” asked Chohan. He also appealed to PM Imran Khan to give the lawmakers time to meet them.
“These people will leave the country and only we will be with you,” said Chohan as he appealed to the PM to meet them. He also claimed that people sitting left and right to the PM were conspiring against him.
“PM Imran you said to stand with the truth. PM you should invite us you have to listen to our grievances,” said Chohan. He added that they should not be taken as outsiders or people working on an “agenda”.
Chohan also said that all of the lawmakers had decided that they will speak to PM Imran Khan and seek “justice” from him.
The PTI MPA also dismissed rumours claiming that the lawmakers supporting the embattled PTI Leader Tareen would make a forward bloc against the party’s government in Punjab.
“There is no truth [about] a forward bloc. Imran Khan is our Quaid,” said the lawmaker from Lahore. He added that their “life and death” was with Imran Khan.
Before talking to the media, Tareen along with his supporters appeared before the banking and sessions court hearing his cases.
The PTI stalwart first made an appearance before a sessions court hearing his case and the court extended Jahangir Tareen and his son Ali’s bail till April 22. The hearing was presided over by Judge Hamid Hussain
The judge, before extending the bail, asked the FIA if it had any objection to the court’s decision.
The FIA said it had no objection but requested the court to direct Tareen and his son to join the investigation.
“The FIA should state the role of each accused and the investigation should be transparent. All the accused should be part of the FIA investigation,” ordered judge Hussain as he issued the bail orders.
In the hearing before the banking court, Tareen’s bail was extended till April 17. The bail was issued by judge Ameer Muhammad Khan.
PTI leader Jahangir Tareen has been charged with alleged fraud and money laundering.
A Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore investigation team registered a case of alleged fraud of Rs3.14 billion on March 22 against them.
The FIR states that Jahangir Tareen allegedly transferred illegal shares worth billions of rupees to Farooqi Pulp Mills Limited (FPML), which is owned by his son and close relatives.
It says the transfers, especially after 2011-12, were “patently fraudulent investments which ultimately translated into personal gains” for Jahangir’s family. Some Rs3 billion were invested and laundered through the same factory.
The FIR outlines when and how FPML was made back in 1991.
It includes sections 406, 420 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code with Section 3/4 of Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010. Rana M Shawaz will be the investigation officer.