“What association do I have with Jahangir Tareen?” he asked when queried if he will join Tareen's 'party'
Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secretary general Asad Umar said Monday party’s former stalwart Jahangir Tareen has not contacted him, but ex-senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry stays in touch.
Umar’s comments came during an informal conversation with journalists while he was leaving the district kachehri in Islamabad. The politician appeared at the court to seek interim bail in a case pertaining to the riots at the judicial complex in the federal capital in March during party chairman Imran Khan’s appearance in the Toshakhana case.
The politician has been granted bail in the case, which was booked at the Tarnol Police Station in Islamabad.
When asked if he would join Tareen’s party, he said: “What association do I have with Jahangir Tareen?”
He was then queried if the senior politician had contacted him, to which he replied in the negative. “Jahangir Tareen has not made any contact yet.”
The PTI leader said while he had been out of jail for the last seven to eight days, he has been visiting the courts. He informed journalists that only the party’s former senior vice president has contacted him.
“Fawad Chaudhry remains in touch with me from time to time,” he said. Meanwhile, on Friday, he had denied being part of Fawad's venture.
A journalist then questioned Umar about former party member Faisal Vawda’s agenda. “Ask this question from Faisal Vawda,” he replied.
Unlike other PTI leaders, who quit the party following the countrywide May 9 riots triggered by Khan's arrest in the£190 million settlement case, Umar chose to stick with the party. However, on May 24, he quit his position as its secretary general and left the core committee as well.
The former minister has repeatedly denied quitting PTI and joining another party. “I am in the party, no matter how many times you ask [same question]," he said last week.
The politician, while condemning the damage caused to military installations during the vandalism and arson during a press conference in Islamabad, saidhe was stepping down from the post after serving for the last 17 months. Umar clarified he was not quitting the party.
"Given the current situation [...] after May 9, it is not personally possible for me to continue performing my party leadership duties," the former federal minister said.
"I am resigning as the secretary general of PTI and as the core committee member. One of the reasons why is [...] I am outspoken and I cannot issue personal statements if I hold an office."