Sunday, January 08, 2023

Aleem, Awn Chaudhry dismiss reports of forming 'new party'

Awn Chaudhry says Tareen group "ally of PML-N"; Aleem Khan says "no truth in reports of new party"

  • Aleem Khan says he is neither a part of any political party nor does he have any intentions to join one.
  • Says "there is no truth in reports of my inclusion in new political party."
  • Says he is solely focused on welfare work currently.

LAHORE: Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Awn Chaudhry and Abdul Aleem Khan have dismissed reports of forming a new political party, Geo News reported on Sunday.

The reports of former PTI leaders — who defected from the party — preparing to form a new political party and holding negotiations had been circulating since Saturday (January 7).

Sources said that some eminent politicians from central and south Punjab including Aleem were said to be joining the new party.

However, Chaudhry clarified that former PTI stalwart Jahangir Tareen, Aleem or Chaudhry Sarwar are "not forming a new political party".

"Currently, we are part of the government and are standing with it. Tareen group is an ally of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and will remain an ally," Chaudhry said.

He said that the group is not forming a separate political party.

Meanwhile, senior politician Aleem denied joining a political party or forming a new one, saying: "There is no truth in the reports of my inclusion in a new political party."

"I am neither a part of any political party nor have any intentions to become," Aleem said adding that he has good ties with former PTI leaders Chaudhry Sarwar and Jahangir Tareen but has no intentions of becoming active in politics.

He said that he is solely focused on welfare work currently and heading a foundation for well being of people.

PTI dissidents eye formation of 'new party'

As per sources, Tareen, Aleem and people from the Sarwar group were being contacted for the formation of a new party

“The new party will contest in elections with a new election symbol, and there are possibilities of seat adjustment of the new party with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N)," the sources noted.

The sources said that the dissident group would comprise PTI defectors and it will eye winning 40 to 45 seats in the Punjab Assembly and 15 to 20 seats in the National Assembly.

Preparations for launching the new party consisting of defected members of PTI are underway. A series of contacts and meetings for the consultation of its formation under the leadership of the former PTI leaders and other political parties have also started.

The new party will be led by a prominent former leader of PTI from Punjab, and will field its candidates in the strong constituencies of PTI in the province.

The divide

Both Aleem and Tareen had been two of the most prominent PTI leaders in the PTI’s early years, especially during its rise to power in 2018. Internal differences, however, got in the way with Tareen first and then Aleem parted ways with the PTI chief.

In May 2022, the former prime minister revealed the reason behind his differences with both leaders and said that both were seeking “illegal benefits from him.”

Speaking during a podcast, Khan claimed that differences with both estranged leaders developed when he refused to entertain their requests.

“Aleem Khan expected me to legalise his 300-acre land near Ravi,” Khan said, adding “from then onwards, I developed differences with him.”

While talking about Tareen, Khan said: “Tareen stood with those who are the biggest dacoits in the country. When I ordered a probe into the matter [sugar scandal], differences developed with Tareen.”