Tareen will never rebel against the party: Zulfi Bukhari

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari has dismissed reports of soured ties between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen, clarifying that the premier has very deep-rooted ties with the former PTI secretary general.
Bukhari, in an interview with the BBC, shared that he feels that Tareen will never rebel against the party, whatever the outcome of the sugar and wheat inquiry commission may be.
“There is no doubt that both in government and even before that, Jahangir Tareen has done a lot for the PTI,” Bukhari said.
He added that Tareen had in 2018 brought many people into the PTI to propel the party to power after the general elections.
“But those people joined the party because of Imran Khan not for Jahangir Tareen or Zulfi Bukhari,” the SAPM added.
He said that at the time, PM Imran had trusted Tareen with that role because he was close to him.
However, Bukhari told the BBC that the role of bringing lawmakers into the party could have gone to anyone else as well, clarifying that it was not true that the PM was “dependent” on Tareen.
Bukhari, while dismissing the reports of Tareen working against PM Imran, said that the he was a senior party member and an important leader. He added that he had a very close connection with PM Imran and an old relationship with him.
“There is no animosity between PM Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen,” the SAPM told the BBC. He added that right now only the preliminary inquiry report has come forward and the details of the case are yet to be brought forward.
“PM Imran will not form any incorrect opinion against Jahangir Tareen till all the facts come forward,” said Bukhari. He also refuted reports of differences between the cabinet and asked the media to report responsibly.
This is not the first time that a cabinet member has dismissed reports of a rift between sugar baron Jahangir Tareen and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Last month, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad had similarly dismissed such reports.
The alleged ‘falling out’ had followed a report by the Federal Investigation Agency released in April, which claimed that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country. The investigation had been ordered by Prime Minister Imran Khan in February.
Among the people named in the FIA report were Jahangir Tareen and a brother of the Minister for National Food Security, Khusro Bakhtiar.
Tareen was said by the report to have benefitted the most from the sugar crisis, followed by Bakhtiar’s brother.
The report also claimed that companies belonging to Moonis Elahi — an ally of the party — profited from the sugar crisis. Elahi is Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s son and a key member of the PML-Q.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed that he would take action against those responsible for the sugar and wheat price hike after he sees the detailed forensic report of the preliminary findings.
The forensic report was expected to come out on April 25 but has been delayed.

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