‘Tareen joining PPP,’ Shehla Raza’s tweet creates ripples

ISLAMABAD – A tweet by Pakistan People’s Party’s Sindh Minister Syeda Shehla Raza claiming that estranged PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen is going to hold a meeting with PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari created ripples in the political circles yesterday.  Shehla Raza tweeted that Tareen was expected to meet Zardari next week and was likely to join the PPP along with his supporters. “If this happens the governments of (Punjab Chief Minister Usman) Buzdar and (Prime Minister) Imran Khan will be gone,” she tweeted in Urdu. Tareen, who met PPP South Punjab President Ahmed Mahmoud earlier in the day, denied soon claiming that there was no truth to it. He said those spreading false news about him will be disappointed. 

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“There is no truth about my (possible) meetings with the PPP leadership,” he said in a statement. Subsequently, Shehla Raza deleted the controversial tweet. Nobody at the PPP spoke in favour of Shehla Raza’s claim.

The PTI leader has been feeling the heat of government inquiries into his sugar mills and alleged cases of money laundering. He denies the charges. In 2017, the Supreme Court had disqualified Jahangir Tareen, the then PTI Secretary General, from contesting the polls. He was found to be dishonest under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and Section 99 of Representation of People Act on one count among the multiple charges brought against him.

But despite remaining out of the parliament, Tareen enjoyed significant influence on the PTI lawmakers – especially in the National and Punjab assemblies.  PM Imran Khan also acknowledged his importance until the sugar scandal surfaced. Later, Tareen was clearly unhappy with the government for denying support him in the cases filed against him.