Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen has officially launched his political party called the Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party.
“We are laying a foundation of a new political party — Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party,” announced Tareen at a press conference flanked by former PTI leaders including Aleem Khan, Imran Ismail and others on Thursday.
Tareen, who is a former close aide of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and played a major in the formation of the PTI –led government in 2018, said that he joined politics to play his role for the betterment of the country.
“We have gathered at one platform to make joint efforts to lift the country out of this quagmire,” he said, adding that the country needed a political leadership which could resolve all prevailing issues including social, economic and others.
Tareen parted ways with Khan when a money laundering was registered against him during the PTI-led government.
“We worked day and night to strengthen the party [PTI]. We injected zeal and fervour into the party. The facts will be disclosed in the coming days about our contributions to the PTI,” he added.
Tareen was disqualified for life after Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that he was found guilty in assets beyond means case.
At the same presser, he said May 9 vandalism culprits should be brought to book “or else the houses of political opponents will be attacked in the future”.
The country, he further said, needs a new political leadership which could put it on a path of progress saying that people have lost all hope in the current political system.
The country’s politics needs a new direction and urged the government and the opposition to adhere to their constitutional role to strengthen the country’s democracy, Tareen added. “In the coming days, more people will join our party and we will reveal our reform agenda in the coming days.”
At the outset of the press conference, Aleem said Pakistanis were worried about the current situation in the country. "We were concerned about the situation, hence, we decided to form a separate party."
He also thanked Tareen for uniting the leaders saying: "We believe that the solution to Pakistan's problems is to make the country stable."
He further said that chaos was weakening Pakistan and that it needs to be ended.
"We need to make a stable Pakistan in which parliament, judiciary and establishment are on the same page," Aleem added. "We will contribute to this struggle together under the leadership of Jahangir Tareen."
Before the official announcement of the new political party, several former senior PTI leaders including Fawad Chaudhry, Imran Ismail, Ali Zaidi and others reportedly joined or intending to join the Tareen’s ranks.
Tareen made considerable headway in wooing PTI defectors after over 100 leaders from across the country participated in a dinner thrown by Aleem Khan at his residence in honour of Tareen and his group a day earlier.
Former PTI leaders present at the huddle, who according to sources will join the new party, include Murad Raas, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Muhammad Zaheer-ud-Din Khan Alizai, Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial, Chaudhry Muhammad Norez Shakoor, former secretary general Aamir Kayani, Javed Ansari, Tariq Abdullah, and Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal.
Moreover, Rafaqat Gillani, ex-MPA from Chishtian, Mumtaz Mehravi and ex-MPA from Sahiwal, Meher Irshad Kathia. From Nankana Sahib, Mian Usman Ashraf and Major (retd) Khurram Rokhri also announced joining the Tareen party.
It is interesting that at the time of their resignations, several of the defectors had announced in press conferences that they were quitting or "taking a break" from politics.
The sugar mogul, who was disqualified from contesting for a public office for life by the Supreme Court and was in oblivion, became active once more following the May 9 mayhem and its fallout.