Jahangir Tareen appears as de facto MP
ISLAMABAD: Jahangir Tareen, who was disqualified from any public or political office for not being honest and truthful on the part of the apex court, has now informally assumed the main role of Imran Khan’s deputy on issues of economics, government and reforms.
Sources informed in the Office of the Prime Minister entrusted The News that Tareen has become a regular feature of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Not only is he leading a team of experts working in the background and advising Prime Minister Imran Khan on the main economic and reform issues, but he is also the co-chair of most of the meetings convened by the Arbab City Settlement Advisor. Shahzad
Such is the frequency with which Tareen attends meetings convened by the PM Reform Team and Arbab Shahzad that the Settlement Advisor seems to be acting as a decoy for Tareen.
The sources said that Jehangir Tareen is also leading an invisible team of experts, who informally act as the Prime Minister’s think tank on economic matters. These sources said that Jehangir Tareen leads the invisible team that, in addition to others, includes three bankers and Shabbar Zaidi, who is now nominated for the office of President FBR.
Tareen can not hold any public office due to the verdict of the Supreme Court that disqualified him, but without having a formal role, according to the sources, he is practically the deputy prime minister. To the advantage of Tareen and the disadvantage of others, he is calling the shots, but can not be held responsible for his informal role.
The spokesman for the prime minister, Nadeem Afzal Chan, when contacted, said that neither Tareen has any public office nor is he the deputy prime minister. Chan, however, said that Tareen is an expert in agriculture and livestock, so she is invited to attend meetings on these issues. Chan said that Tareen also attends PTI political meetings.
Tareen also shone on Monday during the interaction of Prime Minister Imran Khan with the media. While the Prime Minister’s interaction with the media focused on the issue of local government, those sitting on either side of Imran Khan were the leading ministers of Punjab and KPK, their relevant ministers and Jehangir Tareen.
A few days before the abrupt dismissal of Asad Umar as finance minister by the Prime Minister during his recent cabinet reshuffle, Jehangir Tareen on a television talk show expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s economic policies and turned to Asad Umar for his indecision. Tareen’s comments raised many eyebrows both inside and outside the PTI.
Although Tareen remained active in the formation of the PTI government by attracting independent parliamentarians to join the ruling party, he seldom attended meetings of officials in the past. Several months ago, objections arose when the media reported that former disqualified parliamentarian Jahangir Khan Tareen presided over a meeting of key government officials in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
It was reported that on September 13, Tareen convened a meeting of the Livestock Emergency Task Force that had been assigned to develop a concrete plan to fulfill the Prime Minister’s commitment to renew the livestock sector on the theme “Raising agriculture and conserving the water “of the 100-day agenda of the new government. The next meeting of the working group was convened in mid-October.
Later, the government again faced criticism when Tareen was invited to a cabinet meeting to inform the Prime Minister and his team about the issue of agriculture. But now, according to the sources, Tareen has become very active and mostly presides over the meeting through the use of meetings convened by Arbab Shahzad.
Tareen was disqualified on December 15 of last year for misstatement under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution: the same provision according to which former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ineligible for life to hold public office for the Panama Papers leaks case. The former Secretary General of the PTI, Mr. Tareen, had filed a petition with the Supreme Court to review the verdict of December 15; however, this was also rejected.