ISLAMABAD   -  With the dismissal of review petition by the Supreme Court, all hopes of PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen have not only vanished to get a key role in the PTI-led federal or Punjab governments but also he has lost moral authority and justification to appear at any party and parliamentary forum.

The decision of the apex court is not only a setback for Tareen but also for the party as well because he has to his credit to make stronger the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) by providing finances and bringing more electables into its folds. The decision has many implications both for the party and Tareen as well.

Many within PTI believe that Jahangir Khan Tareen will continue to play his political role effectively from behind the scene as he had been doing this since his lifetime disqualification by the Supreme Court through a judgement that was handed down in December 2017. However, some party leaders perceive that the senior party leader will lose his influence within the party with the passage of time. They say that the stigma of disqualification will continue to haunt Tareen and ultimately become his vulnerability.

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the review petition filed PTI leader and former secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen against the earlier apex court judgement that disqualified him for lifetime to hold any public office.

Since his disqualification in December 2017, Tareen had been claiming in the party’s and private meetings that he was innocent till the time his pending review petition was not decided. PTI has been taking the same stance when the media used to criticise the party for giving space to Tareen in its official meetings. PTI even did not appoint a permanent secretary general saying that the appointment would be made only after the final decision of the Supreme Court.

Now, the Supreme Court decision has died down all the rumours that perhaps Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar had only been chosen as the party’s candidate only to warm the seat and was made the chief executive of the country’s largest province for an interim period.

Speculations were rife for some time that Tareen will either replace Buzdar or he would be given a major role in the Punjab government to move forwards PTI’s ‘reforms’ agenda after getting a clean chit from the Supreme Court in the review petition. It is being believed that Usman Buzdar is the choice of Tareen and the latter had chosen a weak person for the chief executive post so that he would not resist when he would be replaced by Tareen.

From now, it will remain a challenge for PTI to move forward Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘reforms and development’ agenda through Usman Buzdar as so far performance of CM Punjab proves that he has no experience of governance. Usman Buzdar so far has even failed to bring a major reshuffle in the bureaucracy to make the governance in the province more effective while adopting the principle of right person in the right place.

For the party, the decision has also implications because this will cause more groupings within the party especially in Punjab. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has its own strong group within the party which openly opposes Tareen group and the decision perhaps has given a boost to Qureshi group in terms of parliamentary politics. After the July 25 elections, some members of Tareen and Qureshi groups have been holding responsible each others’ groups for their defeat. PTI leader Ishaq Khan Khakwani had even tweeted giving an indication that Qureshi was instrumental in his defeat as he lost election on a National Assembly seat from his hometown Vehari. Thus the decision against Tareen would cause more grouping within PTI in Punjab as Qureshi group would try to capitalize on the opportunity to weaken Traeen group.

The question is whether Jahangir Khan Tareen would lose his influence over the party for whom he had invested a lot in terms of money and his energies. Senior political analyst Zaigham Khan viewed that Tareen had a lot of investment in the party and he would remain close to Imran Khan and effective within the party also. However, the real purpose for a politician to make a strong group within the party means to get political benefits and these benefits are to get high position in the government, Mr Khan said adding that that Tareen had failed to achieve this objective after SC decision.

Zaigham Khan said that the decision had implications on the internal politics of PTI. He said that the decision has weakened the Tareen group definitely as Qureshi group would get a benefit in the parliamentary politics. He said that the decision to make a lightweight CM had a purpose and this purpose has lost its significance. “If this hypothesis is right that Buzdar was a seat warmer, now the bigger question is from whose group, either Qureshi or Tareen, the next CM Punjab will be,” he added.

 

 

Decision to cause more grouping in PTI

 

IMRAN MUKHTAR