Have been assured of meeting with PM Imran, says Tareen

Published April 22, 2021
Jahangir Tareen speaks to the media outside the sessions court on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
Jahangir Tareen speaks to the media outside the sessions court on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

Estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen said on Thursday that he had been assured of a meeting between his group of supporters and Prime Minister Imran Khan "in a few days".

Speaking to the media outside a Lahore sessions court, the sugar baron said he had hosted an Iftar dinner for his allies earlier this month. "A day before, some individuals from Islamabad contacted me and said that our group would have a meeting with the premier in a few days.

"Our entire group will meet the prime minister soon," said Tareen, adding that his relationship with the premier was not "weak".

He stated that fake FIRs had been registered against him which didn't have anything to do with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). "These are cases concerning the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)."

The sugar baron claimed the PML-N had also investigated his businesses during their tenure and sent notices. "Not even the PML-N turned a civil case to a criminal case," he said.

Commenting on reports about the formation of a committee to address his grievances, he said: "I heard the news of the committee on TV. No one has contacted us." He added that his group will not meet any committee and will only meet the prime minister.

Tareen said he would "definitely get justice from the court". However, he remained silent when prompted on whether those who had "conspired" against him would be successful.

Speaking alongside Tareen, provincial minister Noman Langrial said that he had met with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar who had mentioned and praised the sugar baron.

"The chief minister recognised Tareen's services for the PTI," he said, adding that he had called upon the chief minister to play his role in the matter. He said he was "reassured that the matter would be resolved".

Interim bail extended till May 3

Both Tareen and his son were present in court on Thursday where Additional Sessions Judge Hamid Hussain presided over the hearing of their bail petition. Lala Tahir Randhawa, Raja Riaz, Khurram Leghari, Abdul Hai Dasti and other Punjab Assembly members also were also present.

Along with extending their interim bail to May 3, the court ordered the FIA to complete its investigation as soon as possible and submit an inquiry report.

"There are three FIRs against Tareen and his son, Ali Tareen," said the sugar baron's counsel, Barrister Salman Safdar, adding that the FIA had only registered two cases after a period of four-and-a-half months. He said that according to the FIA, the case in the banking court should also be transferred to this court.

Barrister Safdar said that both individuals were appearing in the FIA's investigation and that there were charges of fraud and money laundering against Tareen. "The FIA ​​should clarify in court whether they are removing the money laundering provisions against Tareen or not."

He also requested the court to adjourn proceedings in the case to after Ramazan due to the current coronavirus situation in the country.

The deputy director of the FIA also appeared in court and said: "Some records are yet to come. As soon as the records are received, we will complete the investigation."

He added that some of the accused had not yet joined the investigation and submitted the record of the cases against Tareen and his son to the court, on which he was asked whether it contained the inquiry report or not.

"The inquiry report is a confidential report and therefore it was not submitted," responded the FIA officer.

According to FIRs dated March 22, copies of which are available with Dawn.com, two separate cases were registered under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating of public shareholders) and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), read with sections 3/4 of the Anti Money Laundering Act, against Tareen and his son.

The FIA in its complaints in the first FIR had stated that Tareen had fraudulently misappropriated shareholder's money after his company — JDW group — transferred Rs3.14 billion to an associated private company identified as Farooqi Pulp Private Limited (FPML).

The FIR had stated that the private company was owned by his sons and close relatives. Additionally, it had said that Tareen, his son and another family member had purchased cash (US dollar) from the open market in Lahore in a "structured manner".

The second FIR had said that "voluminous withdrawals amounting to at least Rs2.2bn were fraudulently and dishonestly made through a trusted cash rider", and large amounts had been deposited into the personal and business accounts of Tareen and his family members.

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