Tareen admits to his role in Punjab numbers game
Tareen admits to his role in Punjab numbers game
In this file photo, Jahangir Tareen speaks to the media in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV

MULTAN: Estranged leader of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Jahangir Tareen has for the first time publicly admitted that he had played a key role in the formation of the party’s government in Punjab by using his aircraft to approach the independents who had won in different constituencies of the province.

Mr Tareen made the confession while addressing a gathering at Kahror Pacca tehsil of Lodhran district on Monday in which he took the government to task over the growing price hike and advised the rulers to put all other issues aside and try to control inflation first.

A video clip showing Mr Tareen disclosing the details as to how he helped Imran Khan in forming government in Punjab went viral on social and main media on Tuesday.

The opposition parties have been accusing the PTI of committing horse-trading and purchasing loyalties of the independent members through the money of Mr Tareen for the formation of government in Punjab. This was for the first time that Mr Tareen at least admitted to his role in this regard, though he did not provide further details as to how he lured the independents to join the PTI.

Recalls PTI had eight seats fewer than PML-N after polls

Speaking at the gathering, Mr Tareen said though the PTI had succeeded in elections in the province, there was a shortage of some seats (to form government in Punjab).

“You all are well aware that then the plane flew. We had eight seats less as compared to them (the PML-N) while there were 23 MPAs who won the election as independent candidates out of whom some were from the PTI as well. I received a message from Imran Khan that there was no use of our government (at Centre) without (government in) Punjab over which I told him to not worry and with the grace of Allah it was done. Similarly, there was the shortage of eight to nine MNAs. However, I don’t want to go into details,” said Mr Tareen.

Without elaborating, he said soon after formation of government in Punjab, efforts were started to create a gulf between him and Imran Khan.

“I had no issue even with this but the conspirators were well aware that I will be a constant danger if my relations (with Imran Khan) are not severed completely and to achieve this purpose they worked for one and half year. They went against me to the extent no government went against any person. Again I stood honoured. Two ministers, (some) MNAs and MPAs took stand for my sake and even in front of Imran Khan they said that injustice had been done with me while people of their constituencies also welcomed their stance,” he said.

He said that his group was again active and they would take future decision while keeping in view the changing political situation in the country.

“Two years are left to the election ...... we will take decisions while keeping in view the changing political situation. We will take a good decision. A decision which will be in favour of Pakistan. A decision which will be in favour of Lodhran and I am thankful to all those ministers, advisers and parliamentarians who are standing with me,” he said.

Sharing his personal feelings, Mr Tareen said there were ups and downs in his politics but his efforts were for the sake of Pakistan, instead of any personal gain.

“I worked hard day and night for eight years and my efforts were not for my personal gains, rather it was for Pakistan. I was making efforts as I believed that Imran Khan was different from all other politicians”, he said.

Mr Tareen said when he was disqualified “in the outcome of a wrong and rubbish decision” only six months before the election, he left the country, but he didn’t leave Imran Khan. He said when he was abroad he had a discussion with his son who said that “if today I make an announcement that I will not work for the PTI anymore, it means whatever I was doing was only for the sake of personal gains.”

“Thus, I had decided that I will continue my struggle for the PTI with the same spirit and ultimately we succeeded,” he said.

Talking to media on Monday, Mr Tareen said the people were suffering because the government had failed to control price hike.

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