The group will wait till Senator Syed Ali Zafar's commission concludes probe, say sources
The Jahangir Tareen-aligned PTI lawmakers' group is set to decide its strategy against the government's sugar scandal probe after Eid-ul-Fitr, sources said Monday. The development comes a day after they had met Prime Minister Imran Khan to inform him about their reservations.
The lawmakers have decided to wait till the commission headed by Senator Syed Ali Zafar concludes its investigation into Tareen's involvement in the sugar scandal, sources said.
Sources said Ali Zafar has also met lawyers and the accountant representing the pro-Tareen group to hear their point of view regarding the case.
Sources said Ali Zafar Advocate has also met the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials and the team investigating the sugar scandal to discuss issues relating to the probe.
On the other hand, sources said four more members of the National Assembly have contacted Tareen.
Earlier in the day, during the hearing of the case against Tareen and his son Ali Tareen, the PTI leader's lawyer had told the court that a new team was investigating the case.
"We should be given the chance to partake in the probe," Tareen's attorney had said.
The Tareen group, on April 28, met PM Imran Khan and expressed their reservations against the PM's aide on accountability Shahzad Akbar.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, PTI’s MNA from Faisalabad Raja Riaz said that the prime minister has assured the group that he is "personally monitoring" the inquiry against Tareen and will see to it that justice is served.
"We met the prime minister in a very cordial atmosphere,” Riaz told reporters, “He has assured us that justice will be served. The prime minister said there is no question of such treatment being meted out to anyone.”
When asked what was discussed regarding advisor Shahzad Akbar, Riaz said that the group shared their reservations, after which "the prime minister said he will not allow injustice to be done with anyone and that we should leave it to him and he will take responsibility.”
Riaz clarified that the prime minister has not "acknowledged" that Akbar has meted out "unfair treatment" to Tareen, but the group has simply shared their concerns and the premier has assured them of looking into them. These include the removal of Akbar's involvement in the probe into Tareen’s case and the formation of a judicial commission.
The PTI MNA claimed that the prime minister said: "You are all my allies. Even those who are opposed to me, I wish to tell them, no one will be treated unfairly and justice will be done."
Riaz said the group thanked the premier for his assurances. "We have full confidence in our captain and our prime minister and InshaAllah we will secure justice," he added.
Ishaq Khan Khakwani, a senior member of the ruling party, told Geo.tv on Wednesday that over 30 MNAs and MPAs of the PTI met the prime minister on Tuesday.
“During the meeting a complaint was launched against Shahzad Akbar,” Khakwani, who was at the meeting, said. “The parliamentarians complained that he [Akbar] is going beyond his mandate. He is using his influence as the de facto interior minister by using the FIA against Tareen and his family.”
The PTI leader added that the parliamentarians at the meeting asked the prime minister to remove Shahzad Akbar from the case [involving Tareen].
For now, the prime minister promised the PTI lawmakers that he will constitute a commission, headed by Senator Syed Ali Zafar, to probe the case and prepare a report.
“The prime minister said himself that I will ask Zafar to investigate the facts of the case. He said that the facts he has so far were given to him by these people,” Khakwani said.
The PTI leader added that he is under the impression that Zafar’s report will be presented to the prime minister within a fortnight.