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JKT, son appear before FIA: Ministers, advisers attend Jahangir Tareen's power show with 30 MPs

Top Story

April 10, 2021

LAHORE: After the FIA grilled Jahangir Khan Tareen and his son Ali Tareen in an alleged corporate fraud and Rs3.6 billion money-laundering probe, he arranged a dinner for the PTI parliamentarians on Friday, which was attended by more than 30 members of National and Punjab assemblies here.

Analysts believe it was, in fact, a show of power by Jahangir Tareen for the government as well as the opposition circles. Those attending the event openly expressed complete support to him and decided to stage power show in his favour on his appearance before a court of law on Saturday (today).

The elected representatives demanded immediate withdrawal of cases against Jahangir Tareen and called for putting an end to his trial, initiated by the PTI government. The members also signed a document vowing allegiance to Tareen in future. Sources said that MNAs from Punjab, who attended the dinner, included Raja Riaz, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Sami Gilani, Khwaja Shiraz, Makhdum Mobeen and Riaz Mazari.

MNA Ghulam Ahmed Laali is already a supporter of Jahangir Tareen. Two sitting ministers of Usman Buzdar's cabinet including Malik Nauman Langrial and Ajmal Cheema as well as four advisors including Khurram Leghari, Abdul Hayee Dasti, Faisal Jabona and Ameer Mohammed Khan also attended the dinner. Besides, a large number of MPAs from Punjab including Nazir Baloch, Omar Aftab Dhillon, Tahir Randhawa, Amin Chaudhry, who is a brother of Aoun Chaudhry, Aslam Bharwana, Chaudhry Zawar and others also turned up at the event.

Sources said that Jahangir Tareen expressed concerns over the way he was being targeted in the tenure of his own party government. He apprised the participants about the treatment being meted out to him by the government bodies for the last two-and-a-half years. He told the meeting that no corruption had been proved against him, but he was constantly being disturbed by the elements, who had hatched conspiracy against him.

Sources said that all participants were of a consensus view that trial against Jahangir Tareen should end immediately. Some of the participants also claimed they were ready to resign if Tareen wanted so.

However, Tareen said he was loyal to the PTI, adding that he had contributed a lot of energy to bring the PTI to power. He added that action must be taken against those who were damaging his repute.

Earlier in the day, Jahangir Khan Tareen and his son Ali Tareen were grilled by the FIA in an alleged corporate fraud and Rs3.6 billion money-laundering probe. A five-member team, led by FIA Director Lahore Dr Rizwan, interrogated the father-son duo. Both were asked about the questioner earlier sent to them comprising five questions. A team of lawyers representing Tareens also accompanied Ali Tareen to the FIA Lahore office and handed over relevant record to the FIA investigating team.

The FIA team interrogated father and son in separate hearings. Ali appeared earlier in the day while Jahangir Tareen appeared in the afternoon. As per the sources, the FIA team questioned Janahgir Tareen mostly about alleged transactions of more than three billion rupees in non-functional paper mill of his son-in-law, while Ali Tareen was asked about the sale of JK Farming. Ali Tareen was asked to provide money trail of the earnings made after the sale of JK Farming.

Meanwhile, the FIA also expanded the scope of investigation against Tareen family on Friday as, on the request of the Agency, the State Bank of Pakistan froze 36 bank accounts of the Tareen family in nine different banks. The FIA froze 21 bank accounts, owned by Ali Tareen, 14 by Jahnagir Tareen, while one bank account belonged to Jahangir Tareen’s wife. Thirty bank accounts deal in local currency, while six are foreign currency accounts, The News has learnt.

In a related development, the authorities have launched probe into 38 sugar mills, owned by 21 families in the country. Notices have been issued to Nasrullah Dareshak. Khusro Bakhtiar, Humayun Akhtar, Moonis Elahi in this regard.

The FIA issued a notice to PTI MNA Nasrullah Khan Dreshak's Indus sugar mills on Friday, sources said, as the agency takes forward its investigation into last year's sugar scandal, reports Geo News.

The sugar mills' administration has been summoned for April 15, with the FIA demanding it present records from 2020-21 during the appearance. Apart from this, the FIA has asked Indus sugar mills to present records submitted to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

The FIA also sought records of sugar sold and booked through "satta'' (price-fixing through collusion) along with details of brokers and dealers, sources said. Moreover, the FIA has ordered the sugar mills' administration to bring details of the transactions and communication between sugar mills and the brokers.

Similarly, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's close aide Javed Kiyani for Wednesday for the sugar crisis probe. Kiyani is currently the vice-chairman of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PASMA) and was a co-accused in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

A former officer of the Ministry of Industries and Production Khizar Hayat has also been summoned by NAB Rawalpindi on April 14.

Meanwhile, Muzammil Pasha, the accountant of the Industries and Production Department has been summoned by the anti-graft body on April 13 in relation to the investigation. PASMA Chairman Sikander Pasha has also been summoned to the corruption watchdog's office, for the second time, next week.

According to the questionnaire, NAB will inquire from the persons about how the prices of sugar were determined in 2017 and who was responsible for doing so. The Bureau has also sought the records of the proposals forwarded from 2017-2019 for the subsidy on sugar as well as the records of the Punjab Food Department. PTI leader Jahangir Tareen has so far not been summoned by NAB Rawalpindi.