Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPA Nazir Chohan on Wednesday distanced himself from PTI's disgruntled Jahangir Tareen group, saying his only leader was Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore alongside Punjab Prisons Minister Fayyaz Chohan after being released from jail on bail, he alleged that estranged PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen had "used" him for his own corruption case.
Nazir Chohan was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) under cybercrime laws following a complaint lodged against him by Prime Minister Imran's adviser on interior and accountability Shahzad Akbar, accusing him of running a "malicious and hate speech" campaign against Akbar on social media.
However, the curtain fell on the feud between the two after Chohan, while in FIA custody, apologised to Akbar for questioning his faith.
Chohan was released from jail earlier today after Akbar on Tuesday told a sessions court he would have no objection if the PTI MPA was released on bail in the case registered on his complaint.
In his remarks to the media today, Chohan thanked Akbar for showing "magnanimity", saying the adviser was the first to call him when he was ill.
"Shahzad Akbar said don't take any stress to your heart, small tiffs happen every now and then," the outspoken MPA said.
He once again apologised to Akbar and his family for questioning their faith.
Chohan said he was "sincere" to his party (PTI) in the past and would remain so. "I only have one leader whose name is Prime Minister Imran Khan; he was, is and will always remain the leader," he stressed.
He added that he had "nothing to do" with the Jahangir Tareen group, saying "Jahangir Tareen used me for his own case and threw me away."
The PTI lawmaker also shamed Tareen for not inquiring about his health after he was taken ill.
"When he (Tareen) was mired in the sugar mafia [scandal], I used to reach him even when fasting, during rains and in the heat," he claimed.
"I have neither acknowledged Jahangir Tareen as the leader nor does he deserve to be one."
Asked by a reporter whether his "software was updated" — an internet euphemism for a change of heart — in the jail or FIA office, Chohan replied: "When a person realises their mistake, their software gets updated at that very moment."
Accusations, arrests, apologies
Chohan had levelled allegations about Akbar’s faith in a TV talk show on May 19 and demanded that the latter should resign from the office of adviser to the prime minister on accountability and interior. Akbar, however, the very next day submitted an application with the Racecourse police station in Lahore and got an FIR registered when he came to Lahore on May 29.
As Chohan came to know about the FIR, he stated that he was readily available to be arrested and added that he had all the proofs and would present those to Prime Minister Imran.
The FIR was registered under Sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 298 (making statements with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings) and 153 (provoking to cause riot) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Chohan had also gone to the Racecourse police station to court arrest but the police did not arrest him stating that they had not yet obtained permission from the Punjab Assembly speaker.
Almost two months later, the Racecourse police arrested Chohan at the LDA offices but he was granted post-arrest bail by a judicial magistrate the day same.
He was released from the Kot Lakhpat central jail, only to be picked up by the FIA under cyber laws following a complaint lodged by the adviser under Sections 11 and 20 of PECA r/w 298, 500, 505(C), 506 of the PPC and 29 Telegraph Act.
The FIA had presented Chohan in court and secured judicial remand for 14 days and did not allow him to attend the Punjab Assembly session despite the issue of production order by the Punjab Assembly speaker.
On non-production of Chohan, Speaker Pervaiz Elahi continued adjourning the proceedings of the assembly session on Thursday and Friday, threatening not to allow the government business until his orders were implemented.