In order to take advantage of the mass exodus of leaders from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), seasoned politician Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT), once Imran Khan’s closest aide, is expected to announce his new party, mostly comprised of defectors from the former ruling party, within the next 72 hours, according to well-placed sources.
The news broke during a luncheon held by former PTI leader Aleem Khan in honor of JKT and his aides. JKT, accompanied by “important political personalities,” is expected to announce the formation of a new political party, according to the sources.
Tareen had called more than 100 political heavyweights the day before, including present and former PTI officials who had left the party following the May 9 devastation.
Following the arrest of party chairman Imran Khan on May 9 — a day the army dubbed “Black Day” — enraged PTI workers allegedly attacked sensitive military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander’s House and the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. The departure of party leaders began when the government chose to try the May 9 vandals in military courts.
Tareen was the secretary general of the PTI before he was ousted from politics in 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him for being “dishonest” on a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi.
However, despite the disqualification, Tareen remained part of the PTI and was crucial in wooing independent lawmakers to join the Imran Khan-led party after the 2018 elections. His efforts proved critical as they helped Khan secure the prime ministership in 2018.
But after coming to power Tareen and Aleem Khan’s relationship with the PTI turned sour.
In May 2022, the former prime minister revealed the reason behind his differences with both leaders and said that both were seeking “illegal benefits from him.”
Khan, who was driven from power by a vote of no-confidence in April last year, stated on a podcast that disagreements with both leaders arose when he refused to entertain their proposals.
“Aleem Khan expected me to legalise his 300-acre land near Ravi,” Khan explained, adding, “From then on, I developed disagreements with him.”
“Tareen stood with those who are the biggest dacoits in the country,” Khan remarked of Tareen. When I requested an investigation into the topic [the sugar scam], I had disagreements with Tareen.”
A huge number of current and past PTI leaders, including Aleem Khan and Aun Chaudhry, were among those who attended today’s luncheon.