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Tuesday Jul 14 2020

What’s Jahangir Tareen up to in London?

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen. Photo: File 

LONDON: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen remains holed up in his Hampshire country home five weeks after arriving here from Pakistan in a chartered plane – immediately after the publication of Sugar Commission report.

The former PTI General Secretary and business magnate left Pakistan after the Sugar Commission report was made public by the PTI government and there have been speculations ever since about Tareen’s activities in London but this reporter has learnt through highly credible sources that the PTI stalwart has not held any political meetings in the last six weeks – as reported in some sections of media.

Since arriving at his country home some 60 miles out of London, Tareen has made around four trips to London to visit his doctor in Central London but he has shunned meeting politicians to avoid getting into news for the wrong reasons.

Sources have said that several people from within PTI UK and other parties have sent messages to Tareen for a meeting but he has shunned meetings or extensive contacts, preferring to stay low key.

A source familiar with Tareen’s medical history said that he has been frequently visiting London for medical treatment for many years and he’s availed the lockdown period to focus on his health.

The source revealed that Tareen once had cancer and has recovered successfully but he still needs regular check up and gets treatment from another serious condition for which he has a dedicated specialist in London. The source didn’t give details of the ailment Tareen is suffering from but he confirmed it’s of serious nature and needs proper treatment.

It has been said in news reports that Tareen contacted Nawaz Sharif in London with a request for meeting but that Nawaz set demands prior to holding the meeting.

When asked to confirm or deny whether Tareen had made any direct contact with a request for meeting, a source in Sharif family told this correspondent that neither Tareen had not made any direct contact for a meeting or anything like that. The source said that there were no conditions sent by Nawaz, as there was no formal contact at the first place.

Two leaders of PTI in UK, when contacted, confirmed that they had approached Tareen for a social meeting but they said he declined to meet stating that he was resting and not meeting anyone at this stage.

However, it has been learnt reliably that Tareen has met at least two trusted friends from the business community for who are not involved in Pakistani politics. Both are well-reputed businessman from Pakistan and have been in London for the last two months.

A group of Pakistani journalists visited Tareen’s house twice in Hampshire but on both occasions he refused to speak to media. His son Ali Khan Tareen - who has accompanied his father - was seen driving a black Range Rover.

The trusted source said that Tareen has given his lifetime to PTI and he remains loyal to his party.

Senior PTI sources have confirmed that relations between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Tareen are not cordial but Tareen has publicly slated a few bureaucrats and advisor for fuelling wrong perceptions about him.

Known for his acumen and sharp political skills, Tareen is credited by his allies and foes both for helping PTI for several years when there was hardly anyone else around to do the heavy lifting. He’s credited with spending his own money to help party gain media mileage and to make inroads in other parties ahead of general elections two years ago.

It’s understood that Tareen will spend Eid-ul-Adha in London.