PTI to file review plea over Tareen’s ban

ISLAMABAD –  Soon after the Supreme Court verdict regarding declaration of assets of two top Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders, the party welcomed the decision with some reservations stating it would file a review petition against Jahangir Tareen’s disqualification.

On the one hand, the PTI appreciated the judgment of the three-member bench what it said the decision vindicated the point of view of the party regarding the offshore wealth of party chief Imran Khan. But at the same time, it condemned the decision that disqualified party secretary general Jahangir Tareen for life.

Talking to the media here, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that the court disqualified Tareen under the “doctrine of balancing” and the party would review the decision.

“The PTI will file a review petition in the Supreme Court against Jahangir Tareen’s disqualification,” said Chaudhry. He said that Imran Khan has directed Tareen to continue performing duties as secretary general of the party.

“The qualification of Jahangir Khan Tareen had been challenged on three grounds out of which two have been thrown out by the apex court and the bench had declared his disqualification purely on technical grounds,” he said.

Chaudhary said that Tareen had fallen victim to an attempt to create proportion between things. “Courts must decide cases on merit and must not be seen as “balancing their decisions,” he said adding that it was unfortunate that Tareen became victim of “doctrine of balancing” through the three-member bench judgment on a petition of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi that accused Khan and Tareen of not disclosing their assets, owning offshore companies and running a foreign-funded party.

The PTI spokesperson said that the property over which Tareen had been disqualified belonged to his son. “If he had to evade the accountability, why would he name the property after his son?” he asked. “We will go for a review petition. The Supreme Court decision is 99 percent in favour of the PTI and 1 percent against it,” he said.  He said that the overall the judgment had vindicated the PTI’s stance.

Chaudhry said that there was no comparison between Imran Khan and “the Panama mafia”. Taking a jibe at PML-N, he said that “the whole lot of goons had fled to London while the rest was going to follow the suit.” He said that Hanif Abbasi lied to the court and the matter should be pursued.

Chaudhry also lashed out at the National Accountability Bureau what he said the bureau helped Sharif family in getting Hudaibiya Paper Mills case closed.

On Friday evening, a legal team of the PTI including Faisal Chaudhry gathered at the residence of Tareen to discuss the verdict. A PTI leader also endorsed that the PTI has decided to file a review petition against the disqualification of Tareen and all legal options were being discussed.

PTI sources said that Imran Khan would hold an important meeting of the party soon to take into account the Supreme Court verdict soon after his return from Sindh. They said that the meeting would decide whether or not Tareen would continue with his portfolio as secretary general of the party after his disqualification. However, amajority of the people within the party have a view that Tareen should continue with his work as party’s office-bearer under clause 203 of the Election Act 2017 that removed the bar from a disqualified person to become member or office-bearer of some political party. The PTI had earlier termed that clause unconstitutional and had challenged it before the apex court.

 Tareen himself took to Twitter saying the court had cleared him from a number of charges. “Accusations Rejected by SC 1) Misuse of authority, loan write off 2) Insider Trading 3) Misdeclared Agri income 4) London Property Full money trail accepted not hidden, declared in children’s assets since 2011. And SC disqualifies me on mere interpretation of the trust deed???” he said.

In another tweet, he said: “I worked sincerely with all my strength for the betterment of PTI and Pakistan. I am proud that all allegations of financial wrongdoing were thrown out. I will continue to stand tall and keep working for a Naya Pakistan.”

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