As the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) exodus continues unabated following the May 9 riots, seasoned politician Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT) — once Imran Khan's closest aide — is likely to announce his new party, mostly comprising the former ruling party’s deserters, during the next 72 hours, well-informed sources said on Monday.
The development came during a luncheon hosted in honour of JKT and his aides at the residence of former PTI leader Aleem Khan. JKT, accompanied by “important political personalities” is expected to announce the launch of a new political party, the sources added.
A day earlier, Tareen made telephonic contacts with more than 100 political leaders, including current and those leaders who have recently bid adieu to the PTI after the May 9 mayhem.
The former ruling party has been feeling the heat of the state’s might after enraged PTI workers allegedly attacked sensitive military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander's House and the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi following the arrest of party chairman Imran Khan on May 9 — a day the army dubbed as “Black Day”. The exodus of leaders from the party started when the government decided to try the May 9 vandals in the military courts.
Tareen was the secretary general of the PTI before he was ousted from politics in 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him for being "dishonest" on a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi.
However, despite the disqualification, Tareen remained part of the PTI and was crucial in wooing independent lawmakers to join the Imran Khan-led party after the 2018 elections. His efforts proved critical as they helped Khan secure the prime ministership in 2018.
But after coming to power Tareen and Aleem Khan’s relationship with the PTI turned sour.
In May 2022, the former prime minister revealed the reason behind his differences with both leaders and said that both were seeking “illegal benefits from him.”
Speaking during a podcast, Khan — who was removed from office via vote of no-confidence in April last year — had claimed that differences with both leaders developed when he refused to entertain their requests.
“Aleem Khan expected me to legalise his 300-acre land near Ravi”, Khan said, adding “From then onwards, I developed differences with him.”
While talking about Tareen, Khan said: “Tareen stood with those who are the biggest dacoits in the country. When I ordered a probe into the matter [sugar scandal], differences developed with Tareen.”
During the luncheon today, a large number of current and former leaders of the PTI, including Aleem Khan and Aun Chaudhry were among the attendees of the event.
Following the lunch, JKT and Aleem Khan discussed plan about a new political party, the sources added.
“Instead of forming a pressure group, we should form a new political party,” the participants suggested to JKT.
“Those who are parting ways with the PTI should be provided a new platform,” the participants said.
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