Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday lashed out at the Jahangir Tareen group within the PTI, questioning their loyalty towards the prime minister.
The foreign minister was speaking to PTI workers in New York where he called out the party's lawmakers that are supporting Tareen.
"[They say] we are with you [the PTI] and then they say that they are not with us. Then they say Imran Khan is their leader. If that is so, then why the contradiction?" he asked.
The minister, criticising the Punjab lawmakers standing with Tareen, said if they wished to stand with the prime minister then they should do so without hesitancy.
"Imran Khan has said he is not out to get revenge," said FM Qureshi.
He said that the sugar mafia has been blackmailing this government, adding that they threaten of turning the "majority into minority".
"I tell Imran Khan to take a stand," he added.
The foreign minister, during his address, also slammed Israel for its human rights violations and war crimes in Gaza. He stressed that the entire Pakistani nation stood in solidarity with their Palestinian brethren at this critical time, according to the Foreign Office.
FM Qureshi said PM Imran Khan attached great importance to overseas Pakistanis and considered them "great assets" who continue to support the country by way of supporting Pakistan’s interests in the international arena.
It is no secret that there is no love lost between Tareen and the foreign minister. Reports of differences between the two made their way to the media a month before general elections 2018 when Qureshi hit out against Tareen.
Without naming Tareen, the minister had said that he didn’t consider someone as competition if that person could not contest an election. After the jibe, Tareen had advised Qureshi to refrain from taking the party’s internal divisions public.
Ever since then, frequent reports in the media have pointed out tensions still persist between the foreign minister and Tareen.
Separate group formed after Punjab govt’s action against my supporters: Jahangir Tareen
Punjab lawmakers loyal to Tareen formed a separate parliamentary group to raise their voice against, what they called, "revenge tactics" by the Punjab government against its members.
Tareen, however, had denied reports he was forming a forward bloc in the party. "We were part of the PTI, we are part of the PTI and we will continue to remain part of the PTI," he had said.
The estranged PTI leader had accused the Punjab government of transferring officers of the ministers that were loyal to Tareen, "left, right and centre", and were putting pressure on them.
He had said the pro-Tareen group, due to the Punjab government's actions, decided to "raise their voices against this in the Punjab Assembly".
Tareen had said members of his group had decided to nominate MPA Saeed Akbar Niwani to "lead the discussions" against the alleged revenge tactics of the Punjab government, in the assembly.
He had blamed the media for making a huge deal about the news.
He had urged the Punjab government to "stop with their actions", adding that the lawmakers who are part of the Tareen group are "your MPAs and you [Buzdar] became the chief minister by their votes".
PM chairs third meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan, welcomes the United Nation’s appeal for $5 billion in...
Not only were the 20 vehicles all in one spot, there were no drivers or workers available to get them up and running:...
Close all salons, restaurants, gyms, malls and marriage halls before shutting down schools, says PPP leader
Owner of Samah M Beauty salonin Lahore has become one of Pakistan's go-to makeup artists for every occasion
Court asks attorney general and Pakistan Bar Council to name authentic forensic agencies; hearing adjourned till Jan 28
PM Imran Khan says national security policy defines security in "right manner"