The weirdest story doing round these days is the friendship gone sour between two most influential persons in the country. The saga of the topsy-turvy relationship between Imran Khan and Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT) is the stuff legends are made of and though it is not something novel but is fascinating, to say the least.
Both of the erstwhile friends are extremely presentable personalities and are elegant in appearance. They are also known to be focused, hardworking and resourceful.
Theirs was a natural combination but with the eternal constraint that it has an uncanny tendency of going wrong which it ultimately did causing plenty of mayhem.
The two inseparable architects of PTI’s rise to national power slowly drifted apart and apparently are at daggers drawn now.
JKT was often rated as primarily instrumental in catapulting PTI into getting power at the federal level and initially was regarded as the most potent figure in governance matters.
He was considered the final authority in governmental affairs and Imran Khan was known not to move without first consulting him. The overweening influence of JKT was bound to create bad-blood between party ranks and soon there emerged a formidable opposition to his hold.
The first potentially dangerous crack became evident with the departure of Asad Umar from the front ranks of the party. The inter-party rivalries intensified with time slowly engulfing the comraderie between JKT and Imran Khan.
When matters reached dangerous levels JKT was advised to stand aside which he did and left the country. He however kept on trying for his restoration of his status and did succeed in coming back to the country but was considered to be placed on the other side of the fence.
It was reported that his machinations resulted in upsetting political balance compelling the government to act against him. The FIA has registered FIRs against JKT and his family members facing over Rs.5 billion money laundering and fraud charges in the sugar scam.
The action against JKT also enveloped his son Ali Tareen, son-in-law and others and action has been initiated.
In this connection the FIA has stated that it had summoned JKT and Ali Tareen six times in person to record their statements on specific questions but they failed to appear. Instead of joining the investigation they sent irrelevant company documents through a manager of JDW Sugar Mills.
On the other hand, JKT termed the FIRs part of a vilification campaign against him and his family members adding that FIA’s latest claims against him and his family are totally fabricated.
He said that he had already submitted a detailed reply along with concrete evidence in response to the FIA notice and that it is unfortunate to see them go on another smear campaign against him and his family without establishing anything illegal.
FIA maintains that JKT fraudulently misappropriated shareholder’s money after his company, JDW group, transferred Rs.3.14 billion to an associated private company — Farooqi Pulp Pvt Ltd (FPML), Gujrat, which is owned by his son and close relatives.
During 2011-2012 when fraudulent investments were made being pumped into FPML accounts, JKT, his son Ali and other family members purchased US dollars from the open market in Lahore in a structured manner keeping each transaction below FMUs STR/CTR reporting threshold of $35,000 to avoid detection. Subsequently, in 2016, Ali Tareen remitted $7.4 million to the UK for the purchase of properties which makes them liable for anti-money laundering investigation.
The FIA added that a premeditated scheme of misappropriation of public shareholders’ money by Jahangir Tareen has surfaced whereby voluminous withdrawals amounting to at least Rs.2.2 billion were fraudulently and dishonestly made through a trusted cash rider Amir Waris from 2017 to 2020.
Waris employed as a cashier at JDW’s Corporate Head Office, deposited huge cash amounts into the personal and business accounts of Tareen and his family members.
The FIR mentioned the names of the Tareen family women on whose accounts a huge sum of money had been deposited and went on to add that this modus operandi of cash-based misappropriation and money laundering was employed to break the onwards money trail of deposits into personal and business accounts of the accused Tareen and family.
During the course of inquiry against the sugar mafia, it has transpired that sugar industry barons, sugar-brokers & their speculative pricing players, in active connivance with sugar-mills, have transformed into a clandestine sugar mafia and are operating in a collusive but secret-mode, especially through electronic means/ WhatsApp groups to dishonestly and fraudulently maneuver, manipulate and artificially hike sugar prices, amidst hoax of impending sugar-stocks shortages while sugar-stocks are lying unsold or sold/un-lifted in mills & godowns and demand-supply gap is artificial.
This article originally appeared in The Weekender and has been reproduced with permission