LAHORE: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Sports and Tourism Awn Chaudhry said on Wednesday that Jahangir Tareen’s new party would be called “Istehkam-e-Pakistan”.
Chaudhry, who is a close ally of Tareen, confirmed that the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader had finalised the name for his party.
It is expected that Tareen would unveil the name of his party in a press conference on Friday.
Tareen, who has been disqualified for life from the Supreme Court and was in oblivion, has become active following the May 9 mayhem and the fallout from it.
On May 9, PTI Chairman Imran Khan was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court. Following Khan’s detention, his supporters took to the streets and attacked important military installations including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and the Lahore Corps Commander’s House, commonly known as the Jinnah House.
Multiple PTI leaders were arrested under Maintenance of Public Order laws and jailed which led to a mass exodus of PTI leaders.
In a bid to take advantage of the mass exodus, it was reported that Tareen is likely to announce his new party, mostly comprising the former ruling party’s defectors.
The development was first reported after a luncheon was hosted in honour of Tareen and his aides at the residence of former PTI leader Aleem Khan.
Tareen was the secretary general of the PTI before he was ousted from politics in 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him for being “dishonest” on a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi.
However, despite the disqualification, Tareen remained part of the PTI and was crucial in wooing independent lawmakers to join the PTI after the 2018 elections. His efforts proved critical as they helped Khan secure the prime ministership in 2018.
But after coming to power Tareen and Aleem Khan’s relationship with the PTI turned sour.
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, the PTI chief — who was removed from office via a vote of no-confidence in April last year — had claimed that differences with both leaders developed when he refused to entertain their requests.
“Aleem Khan expected me to legalise his 300-acre land near Ravi”, the ousted premier 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.”