Tarakai family in hot water for first time in politics

Updated 27 Jan 2020


— Photo courtesy Shahram Khan Tarakai Facebook
— Photo courtesy Shahram Khan Tarakai Facebook

SWABI: After removal of Shahram Khan Tarakai along with Atif Khan and Shakeel Ahmad from the provincial cabinet, Tarakai family is in hot water for the first time since its appearance on the political landscape of Swabi in 2005.

Local leaders said that it was entrepreneurship of the family that helped it to establish a strong position in the province. The family remained so dominant that none of its family member tested defeat in elections in Razaar tehsil, once a stronghold of Awami National Party.

After capturing the slot of district nazim, Mr Shahram’s family urged former military dictator Pervez Musharraf to visit the district in January in 2006 and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in March 2007.

In general elections of 2008, Mr Shahram’s uncle Usman Khan Tarakai won National Assembly seat NA-12, by defeating ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan. His other uncle Javed Khan Tarakai emerged victorious from PK-32, Swabi-II.

Future course of action of former minister Shahram Tarakai still not known

Soon after announcement of elections, Usman Tarakai, who was an overseas employee, returned from Qatar and Mr Javed from Canada.

In 2010, they formed their own political party, Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) and contested 2013 elections from its platform. Usman Tarakai returned once again as MNA from the same constituency and Mr Shahram won provincial assembly seat PK-32.

Abdul Munim, who won provincial assembly seat PK-88 from Shangla joined hands with Tarakai family.

“On the election night, Pervez Khattak, former chief minister and incumbent defence minister, contacted them to support PTI in formation of provincial government. They became coalition partner and Mr Shahram became provincial minister for agriculture,” an insider told this scribe.

Asad Qaiser, who was in run for the slot of chief minister, contacted Tarakai family but it inclined towards Mr Khattak and a cold war between Mr Asad and Tarakai family was started.

In August 2015, AJIP was merged into PTI when Imran Khan visited Razaar tehsil. In the same year, Shahram’s father, Liaquat Khan Tarakai won Senate elections on PTI ticket.

In 2018 elections, Usman Tarakai won the polls for third time, Mr Shahram was also elected and his uncle Mohammad Ali Tarakai won provincial assembly seat PK-46. The number of total parliamentarians from the family reached to four. Mr Atif is a close relative of the family.

“The mistake of remaining in Atif camp and demanding ministerial slot for MPA Mohammad Ali Tarakai rocked the political boat of Tarakai family,” said PTI leader.

It was not immediately known that what would be their future course of action but political observers said that it was difficult for them to adjust themselves.

Ramazan Chaudhry, the spokesperson for Tarakai family, said that at the time of de-notification, the leading members of Tarakai family were in Islamabad and immediately held a meeting but he was tight-lipped as to what was discussed there.

Sources in PTI said that the cold war between Mr Asad and Tarakai family continued unabated as they failed to reconcile with each other.

“It is against the party discipline to make internal matters public. The party leaders should uphold the party discipline in all circumstances,” said Mr Asad told journalists here at Tarbela Dam recreational centre on Saturday.

Mr Asad said that there were various forums of the party where genuine objections should be raised.

Referring to Mr Atif outburst during a talk show, he said: “The way the issues were brought into the public was not a right forum. We opposed these tactics.”

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2020