LAHORE: Few days after launching his new political party, Jahangir Khan Tareen announced the office bearers of the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP), most of whom are former PTI leaders who jumped ship following the May 9 violence.
The IPP patron also arrived in London on Monday to reportedly seek ‘guidance’ from PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif.
“I am pleased to announce Abdul Aleem Khan as the president of the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party. Aamir Mehmood Kiyani as secretary general. Awn Chaudhry as additional secretary general & spokesperson of the party as well as of the patron-in-chief,” Mr Tareen said in a series of tweets on Monday.
He also nominated Ishaq Khan Khakwani, Nauman Langrial, Saeed Akbar Nawani, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Murad Raas and retired Maj Khurram Rokhri to represent IPP on all media platforms.
Interestingly, this was the first tweet from Mr Tareen’s account since December 2021. Mr Tareen, who was disqualified for life by the Supreme Court in 2017, has once again become active in politics after the May 9 violent attacks.
Aleem Khan becomes president, Aamir Kiyani named IPP’s secretary general
After weeks of consultations in the wake of the massive crackdown on PTI, Mr Tareen, a sugar baron, last week launched the IPP, allegedly with the blessings of the powers that be to “give a new direction to politics and take the country forward with a strong economy”.
The IPP is being dubbed as a ‘king’s party’, all set to establish itself on the political landscape, especially in Punjab as most of its big guns joining the party were from the same province.
Sources said Mr Tareen reached London to discuss the ‘future strategy’ with Mr Sharif who has been in ‘self-imposed exile’ there since November 2019.
Most of the IPP senior leaders, including Mr Tareen wanted to go along with the PML-N in the next elections. However, the PML-N senior leadership was not in favour of accommodating the new party, considering it “a burden rather than benefit,” a source privy to the development told Dawn.
He said Mr Tareen would remind the elder Sharif that he had helped the PDM during the no-trust move against former prime minister Imran Khan in April last year and subsequently helped the PML-N form a government in Punjab. “But there are visible divisions in the PML-N over shaking hands with the IPP as the former tasted ignominious defeat in the Punjab Assembly by-elections in 2022 when it awarded tickets to 25 Tareen group members as a favour for voting for Hamza Shehbaz in the chief minister election.”
However, Mr Sharif might consult the party leaders with divergent views on the issue of an alliance with Mr Tareen’s party, the PML-N source added.
When contacted, PML-N Punjab information secretary Azma Bokhari said at this stage it could not be confirmed whether PML-N would form any election alliance with the IPP. “Consultation process in the party in this regard will begin ahead of elections.”
On the other hand, Awn Chaudhry who is currently the special assistant to PM Shehbaz Sharif, appears desperate to go along with the PML-N. In a TV interview, he expressed a strong desire to form an election alliance with the PML-N.
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2023