The many positive steps announced by the government on Tuesday at the press conference of the Prime Minister’s Agricultural Emergency Programme were over shadowed by Jahangir Khan Tareen taking the reins in delivering the plan for development in the sector. The 13 projects announced included functional plans on improving among other things, produce for cotton, livestock, fisheries and water management. The fact that the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research sat quietly while Jahangir Khan Tareen – with an ambiguous position in the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) leadership hierarchy and in the government – delved into detail on all projects is indicative of who is in charge in matters of agricultural policy.

On one side you have PTI leaders constantly calling for the suspension or expulsion of political leaders from other parties that have been convicted, or even in fact been accused of crimes. On the other, a man disqualified under the same pretext as former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif continues to take important decisions that affect not just the ruling party, but the entire country. PTI has interpreted the Supreme Court decision as one that bars Jahangir Khan Tareen from gaining an official position, but others would argue that the title itself is meaningless if he is working against the wishes of the apex court anyway.

The main principle behind barring Mr Tareen from office due to accusations of insider trading simply means that the courts are implying that he cannot be trusted to not use his position of power to benefit himself at the expense of others. Business interests, specifically those that look to manipulate or cheat the system should not be mixed with those of the government. Official position or not, Mr Tareen is knee-deep in working for the government and as a party that uses the slogan of accountability as its guiding principle, PTI damages its narrative by consistently relying on Jahangir Tareen weighing in on matters of state.

Merely saying that he is working in an advisory capacity is not enough, considering Mr Tareen looks to be steering policymaking of the country’s largest economic sector – agricultural – something that the law specifically bars him from doing so. Taking the lead in the press conference means that Mr Tareen has put himself in an official position even if he denies it, because currently he is speaking with the voice of the government. As someone who is taking decisions at the level of the Federal Cabinet, is the PTI applying a different interpretation of the law in the case of Jahangir Tareen simply because he is one of their own?