LAHORE: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday saidPakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen’s presence in official meetings gives the opposition something to talk about.
Responding to a question during a press conference in Lahore earlier today, Qureshi criticised the leader’s attendance in government and PTI meetings. “I will ask Tareen to think, whenever you sit in official meetings Marriyum Aurangzeb gets a chance to hold press conferences,” he remarked.
“The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz raises questions that whether this is contempt of court. When 62 (1)(f) is imposed on Nawaz Sharif we say he cannot hold any government or party position. If 62 (1)(f) is imposed on us, should it have a separate yardstick? The Tehreek-e-Insaf worker is mentally unable to accept this and you [Tareen] are giving an opportunity to opponents of Tehreek-e-Insaf to exploit this,” the foreign minister added.
According to Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Tareen was disrespecting the present Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa who at the time was heading the bench which disqualified the PTI leader. “You [Tareen] had the right to an appeal which was not accepted by the court.”
Qureshi requested that Tareen should offer advice while remaining in the background. “When you [Tareen] come and preside over meetings, objections are raised. The same officers and ministers come out and talk.”
The minister said Tareen should voluntarily help this situation but refrain from those exercises which would lead to fingers being raised at the part.
On the issue of renaming theBenazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Qureshi said it will not be a “politically correct” decision and will be equivalent to making a non-issue an issue.
“Changing its name will not be politically correct. The issue is not of the programme’s name but work and renaming it will be equivalent to making an issue out of a non-issue,” he remarked.
“Pakistan Peoples Party’s future cannot be seen in Punjab and ahead of the elections, no one expected the party to form the government in the province.
“What Bilawal is about to do will cause damage. PPP cannot be successful without getting rid of its declining faces.”
No one can stop me from serving Pakistan: Tareen
PTI leader Jahangir Tareen,responding to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s remarks that his presence in official meetings gives the opposition something to talk about, said “no one can stop him from serving Pakistan.”
“Serving Pakistan is my right. No one including Shah Mehmood Qureshi can take that right away from me.
“Wherever I go, I go [as per] the wishes of Prime Minister Imran Khan. I am answerable to only Prime Minister Imran Khan in political matters,” Tareen added.
In a tweet, Tareen said he only considered Imran Khan as his leader and he had stood by his side through thick and thin and would continue to do so. “What others may say for their own strange reasons does not concern me
There's only one man in my life whom I consider my leader & to whom I'm answerable. His name is Imran Khan. I've stood by his side through thick and thin and will continue to do so till my last breath, IA. What others may say for their own strange reasons does not concern me .
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) April 1, 2019
PTI leaders defend Tareen
Shortly after Qureshi’s statements, PTI leaders came to the defence of Tareen. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that Tareen played a major role in PTI’s election win.
“His [Tareen’s] attendance in cabinet meetings is the wish of the prime minister. Senior leadership should respect the prime minister’s wishes. The court decision against him [Tareen] was unfortunate and he has been barred from elections, not from the heart of PTI workers,” Chaudhry tweeted.
آج تحریک انصاف اگر حکومت میں ہے تو اس میں ایک بڑا کردار جہانگیر ترین کا ہے، کابینہ اجلاس میں انکی شرکت وزیر اعظم کی خواہش پر ہوتی ہے،اکابرین کو وزیر اعظم کی خواہش کا احترام کرنا چاہئے۔ ان کے خلاف عدالتی فیصلہ بدقسمتی تھی وہ انتخابات سے باہر ہوئے ہیں PTI ورکرز کے دلوں سے نہیں https://t.co/sDRzQkQHPh
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) April 1, 2019
Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda defended Tareen on Twitter, saying that the PTI leader was sitting in official meetings on the insistence of cabinet members.
JKT sits in official meetings on the insistence of cabinet members including myself.He has selflessly done a lot for the party,we respect him as a senior colleague &learn from his expertise.Nobody in the party can DICTATE us,PM is our leader & we take instructions from him only.
— Faisal Vawda (@FaisalVawdaPTI) April 1, 2019
Defence Minister Pervez Khattak also said that Jahangir Tareen had immense contribution for the PTI and his loyalty was exemplary.
“People need to keep their emotions under control or be ready to face the music,” the minister said in his tweet.
“Everyone is answerable to only one man in the party and that is Imran Khan.”
Jahangir Tareen has immense contribution for PTI. His loyalty with PTI is exemplary. He lives in the hearts of party workers. People need to keep their emotions under control or be ready to face the music. Everyone is answerable to only one man in the party & that is Imran Khan.
— Pervez Khattak (@PervezKhattakPK) April 1, 2019