Pakistan News

PTI MNA defends Tareen over sugar subsidy issue

FAISALABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Raja Riaz has come out in defence of senior party member Jahangir Tareen and asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to read the reports on sugar and wheat crises personally instead of listening to others.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the MNA claimed that the reports were incomplete and should not have been made public.

Following the submission of sugar and wheat crises reports by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Mr Tareen had been apparently removed as chairman of the PTI task force on agriculture. However, the senior leader denied ever being head of any task force.

Principally, Raja Riaz said, he should have spoken to the PM personally about the issue, but he had to hold the press conference as a party meeting was unlikely under the current circumstances.

He claimed the FIA reports were incomplete as nobody had been held responsible in them. Before April 25, the reports should not be made public, he added.

Mr Riaz, who was associated with the PPP for years and also served as a senior Punjab minister in the Shahbaz Sharif cabinet, claimed that there was nothing illegal about subsidies, as this “facility” was offered across the world. He said Mr Tareen paid billions of rupees in taxes, asking what benefit could he get from a subsidy of Rs560 million.

He went on to say that Mr Tareen played a major role in the formation of the PTI’s governments in Punjab and Centre.

Some people were providing incorrect information to PM Khan and the party will face a loss if Mr Tareen left, Mr Riaz warned, adding that the PM should personally look into this issue rather than receiving information from certain people.

He said Shahbaz Gill, who was sitting in the PM House, was not even capable of winning the election of a councillor, adding that a propaganda campaign had been initiated against Mr Tareen.

He said it was unfortunate that some party people were seeking suggestions from unelected people sitting in the PM House instead of talking to the elected ones. Such elements were pushing the elected people away from the party leadership, he claimed. Some people were also involved in conspiracies and giving wrong advice to the PM, he added.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2020

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