Tareen denies reports of meeting high-ranking govt official in Islamabad

Published May 31, 2021
Estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen speaking to the media in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV
Estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen speaking to the media in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV

Estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen on Monday denied reports that he had met a high-ranking government official regarding the inquiries against him.

Speaking to the media outside a Lahore sessions court, Tareen was asked by a reporter if he had any contact with any high-ranking government official in Islamabad.

"I have had no meeting with any senior government official. There was no meeting and this news is wrong and based on misunderstanding. We are fighting our case in court and waiting for (Senator Barrister) Ali Zafar's report," he responded.

He also called for justice to be done with him and while answering a question, reiterated: "Don't do politics with us, do justice with us."

Tareen said the prime minister had promised in a meeting with members of his group that an independent senior party member would be appointed to investigate his case.

The sugar baron added that he "respected" Zafar for his work and effort but that his report had not yet come out despite prior claims that the report would be presented in the month of May.

"There is conjecture that a verbal report has been submitted to the prime minister and that it is very positive for me. We had set out to seek justice and the prime minister had promised justice so it is our request: a lot of days have passed and now justice should be served.

"If justice is delayed then justice is not really served. The time for justice has come so the request is again to take action on whatever Zafar has said in his report," said Tareen.

When questioned if the report came against him would he accept it, the sugar baron answered: "We know some things which I don't want to tell in the media. When the report comes and whatever happens then I will put everything in front of the media."

MNA Raja Riaz of the Tareen group had previously said that Barrister Zafar had completed his probe and given a ‘clean chit’ to the estranged PTI leader. Zafar himself had later rubbished those claims, however, and said that no report had been submitted by him.

Interim bail extended till June 11

Both Tareen and his son, Ali Tareen, were present in court on Monday where Additional Sessions Judge Hamid Hussain presided over the hearing of their bail petition.

Along with extending their interim bail to June 11, the court also issued a show-cause notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for not completing its investigation in the case.

The judge said there had been transfers and new appointments in recent days and a new judge would take charge on Monday (today). "Today the case is being adjourned without a hearing."

He did, however, ask the FIA what investigations had been completed in the last 15 days to which he was told by a deputy director that an officer of the institution had been transferred which caused a delay in their work.

"How long has this case been going on and why has the investigation not been completed yet?" questioned the judge, adding, "If your institution does not want to investigate then it should inform the court."

A banking court, meanwhile, adjourned its hearing on the bail petitions to June 11 due to the unavailability of a judge and also extended Tareen and his son's bail.

The FIA had booked Tareen and his son for fraud and money laundering in March.

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 son 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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