–Rifts within PTI resurface after SMQ claims ‘ideological workers are uncomfortable with JKT’s interference in state’s affairs’
–Tareen rejects Qureshi’s remarks, says he’s only answerable to PM Imran
–PTI ministers defend Tareen; Fawad says court removed JKT from House, not from hearts of PTI workers
LAHORE: Rifts between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leaders, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Jahangir Khan Tareen, yet again came to the fore when the former, during a presser on Monday, urged the party chairman’s top aide to refrain from attending official government meetings.
Addressing reporters, Qureshi asserted that Tareen’s involvement in government affairs raises questions for the ruling PTI as it appears to be adopting double standards.
The PTI stalwart further said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) uses Jahangir Tareen – who was disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) for concealing his assets – as an excuse to accuse the government of committing contempt of the court.
“Whenever he [Tareen] involves in an official matter, (PML-N spokesperson) Marriyum Aurangzeb gets a chance to question its legitimacy,” Qureshi lamented.
The foreign minister also said that the ideological PTI workers are uncomfortable with Tareen’s undue interference in state matters.
When asked about renaming Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Qureshi said that “[if done] it will not be politically correct” while adding that the dispute is “equivalent to making an issue out of a non-issue”.
“Performance of the initiative is more important than its name,” he added.
‘ONLY ANSWERABLE TO PM IMRAN’:
On the other hand, while responding to the remarks made by Qureshi, Jahangir Tareen said that “there’s only one man in my life whom I consider my leader and to whom I’m answerable. His name is Imran Khan”.
Tareen also said: “I’ve stood by his side through thick and thin and will continue to do so till my last breath, IA,” while adding that “what others may say for their own strange reasons does not concern me.”
There’s only one man in my life whom I consider my leader & to whom I’m answerable. His name is Imran Khan. I’ve stood by his side through thick and thin and will continue to do so till my last breath, IA. What others may say for their own strange reasons does not concern me .
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) April 1, 2019
MINISTERS DEFEND TAREEN:
Several PTI ministers also lent their support to Tareen regarding his presence in the official meetings.
Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said, “He is one of the biggest reasons for PTI being in power. He joins cabinet meetings on the prime minister’s wish.”
“The cabinet should respect the prime minister’s wishes. The court orders against him are unfortunate. The orders removed him from the elections, not from the hearts of PTI workers,” Fawad added.
آج تحریک انصاف اگر حکومت میں ہے تو اس میں ایک بڑا کردار جہانگیر ترین کا ہے، کابینہ اجلاس میں انکی شرکت وزیر اعظم کی خواہش پر ہوتی ہے،اکابرین کو وزیر اعظم کی خواہش کا احترام کرنا چاہئے۔ ان کے خلاف عدالتی فیصلہ بدقسمتی تھی وہ انتخابات سے باہر ہوئے ہیں PTI ورکرز کے دلوں سے نہیں https://t.co/sDRzQkQHPh
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) April 1, 2019
Meanwhile, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda defended Tareen and said that “JKT sits in official meetings on the insistence of cabinet members, including myself”.
“He has selflessly done a lot for the party; we respect him as a senior colleague & learn from his expertise. Nobody in the party can dictate us, PM is our leader & we take instructions from him only,” Vawda added.
JKT sits in official meetings on the insistence of cabinet members including myself.He has selflessly done a lot for the party,we respect him as a senior colleague &learn from his expertise.Nobody in the party can DICTATE us,PM is our leader & we take instructions from him only.
— Faisal Vawda (@FaisalVawdaPTI) April 1, 2019
HISTORY OF QURESHI-TAREEN RIVALRY:
This is not the first time a spat has occurred between the two PTI stalwarts. In July 2018, a verbal argument was reported between Qureshi and Tareen after the latter met independent candidate Salman Naeem who defeated Qureshi during 2018 polls. Tareen invited the independent candidate to join the party, the reports claimed, adding that fumed Qureshi inquired why Tareen had met with the candidate who was faced allegations of violating the party’s code of conduct. Owing to the same violations, Naeem was denied the PTI ticket to contest elections on the provincial assembly seat.
In June 2018, the two leaders had locked horns over the issue of the distribution of election tickets. PTI Chairman Imran Khan had admitted that different factions existed within his party, adding that Tareen and Qureshi have their groups in the party. He, however, expressed hope that this grouping would end once the PTI came into power.
In May 2018, an exchange of harsh words took place between Qureshi and Tareen during a meeting of the party’s core group. According to reports, the two senior leaders traded barbs with each other over PTI member Rai Hassan Nawaz, whose disqualification came under discussion at the meeting by Qureshi.