Jehangir Tareen, a wealthy industrialist and businessman who was formerly a member of Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F), joined Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf in 2011.
Tareen is one of the richest lawmakers on record, with assets worth around Rs1.18 billion. Born in 1953, the Forman Christian College graduate was elected as an MNA from NA-195 (Rahim Yar Khan – IV) in the 2008 election.
The sugar baron, who entered politics in 2002, has spoken out in favour of greater rights for the southern Punjab region and has also supported a separate province in this regard. He has supported several development initiatives in the country and has been actively involved in the Lodhran Pilot Project amongst other such programs. He espouses a participatory approach to economic development.
Tareen has worked as advisor to the Punjab chief minister on agriculture and new initiatives and also served as a federal minister with the portfolio of industries, production and special initiatives under former president Pervez Musharraf.
While serving as a minister, Tareen supported an initiative to modernise the ailing but established arms industry in Darra Adam Khel.
The PTI leader had initially been planning to form his own party of ‘clean politicians’ who had not been associated with corruption in the past. Later, Tareen said that since his vision was so similar to Imran Khan’s, he had decided to join PTI along with a number of associates. He has strongly spoken out against dynastic politics and has called for structural changes in the way districts are governed. Tareen also advocates implementing broad-based tax reforms.
As a member of PTI, Tareen has justified his party’s plan to declare an ‘education emergency’ in Pakistan, in accordance with its manifesto.
— Research and text by Heba Islam