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Friday February 23, 2024

Tareen's disqualification was balancing act to pave way for Imran's NRO: SAPM Chaudhry

"I had prior information that Tareen will be disqualified despite providing all documents to court," Aun Chaudhry says

By Web Desk
December 30, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) and Jahangir Khan Tareen. — AFP/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) and Jahangir Khan Tareen. — AFP/File

Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Aun Chaudhry said Friday that Jahangir Tareen's disqualification was a "balancing act" that paved way for deposed prime minister Imran Khan's "NRO ".

In December 2017, the Supreme Court had absolved Khan of all allegations of corruption and declared him an honest person in the Bani Gala case but disqualified ex-PTI leader Tareen for misdeclaration under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

Chaudhry, who now holds the portfolio of special assistant to the prime minister, told Geo News' Shahzeb Khanzada that he had prior information about Tareen's disqualification — in the concealment of assets case.

"I will tell the truth to the nation. I had prior information that Tareen would be disqualified despite providing all the documents to the court. Tareen's disqualification was a balancing act," Chaudhry claimed.

The former PTI leader claimed that it was decided that it did not matter whether Khan's documents were incomplete as an NRO was in the pipeline for him.

"When you (Khan) wanted power, you were ready to even beg for it," Chaudhry said, adding that the people would call the PTI chief for getting Tareen's review petition — in the disqualification case — dismissed.

He revealed that the documents that Khan's former wife, Jemima Khan, had provided were of a bank that had shut down its operations 10 years back, leading him to believe "that no doubt, Tareen's disqualification was a balancing act".

"The ones (Khan) whose documents were incomplete were saved."

The PM's aide added that before coming into government, Khan would hold meetings with former chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa and ex-Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid.

Bushra Bibi and 'magic'

Moving on, the former PTI leader said after Khan's marriage, his wife Bushra Bibi told Tareen that she was "not a magician" and that whoever got "clearance" from the ex-PM's "home" would automatically become his favourite.

He said that Bushra's close friend, Farah Gogi and her husband Ahsan Jameel Gujjar, would take their "cut" in transfers of Punjab's bureaucracy.

"Was all of this not in Imran Khan's knowledge? It definitely was," he said, slamming the deposed premier for imposing an "illiterate" person — Usman Buzdar — as the chief minister of Punjab, which accounts for more than half of Pakistan's population.

Chaudhry added that during Khan's oath-taking ceremony as the prime minister, he was informed not to attend the event. "Imran Khan texted me that he had a dream and that I should not be attending the oath-taking ceremony."

The former PTI leader said he respected Bushra and Farah more than his mother and sister, but both Farah and her husband would interfere in Punjab's affairs.

"They did not do this on their own, they had the support of the home," he said, indicating Bushra's involvement in the affairs of Punjab despite not holding a public office.

"Farah Gogi and Jameel Gujjar did not even have the authority to call an SHO (station house officer). They took bribes and had ministers and government officers appointed."

He said that when he informed the PTI chief about the "bribes were being offered", to which the former premier replied that he only wanted to listen to my story.

"When I informed him about it, he said that he would take action. The action that he took was removing me from the advisory position."