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Jahangir Tareen was behind Asad’s ouster as Finance Minister: Fawad Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD : Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s close associate and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf central leader Jahangir Khan was behind sacking of Asad Umar as Finance Minister in April 2019. Asad Umar, who is the current Federal Planning Minister was initially appointed as Finance Minister in August 2018 when the PTI came into power. However, a few months later, PM Khan reshuffled his cabinet and Asad Umar stepped down. He was reportedly asked to take over the energy ministry but he declined and resigned from the post. In November 2019, Umar returned to the Cabinet, but this time as the planning minister. In an interview with Voice of America, Fawad Chaudhry has said that the differences between Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Jahangir Tareen weakened the party and their failure to settle their issues resulted in bureaucracy taking important roles. He said the difference between them hurt the party and forced the PTI’s “political class” to part ways. “As soon as the PTI government was formed, quarrels among Qureshi, Umar and Tareen began. Tareen used his influence to get Umar removed from the Cabinet and later Umar got Tareen out,” said Chaudhry. “We tried very hard to get their issues resolved, but they still haven’t.” This void then was filled by those people, he says, who had no idea about politics and were very new to the party. You can’t excel when your foundation is shaken, he said. Chaudhry then compared the PTI leadership to Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, when they were in power. “How could you think of civilian supremacy with such leadership?” the PTI leader asked while speaking of his party.“As for Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, they chose weak people for government posts because their aim was to bring their own children to the centre stage.” The Science and Technology Minister remarked that Imran Khan’s vision was opposite of it, but somehow he ended up appointing weak people as well and this decision has hurt Khan the most. The Federal Minister further said that the Prime Minister gave the leadership of the provincial governments to the weak people who take dictation on everything. The minister added, “The way he said the chief ministers had become dictators in Sindh and the finance commission award should be there along with police reforms, judicial reforms, it was very clear at that time what Imran Khan’s vision was.” “When the Panama case was resolved I and few others had a chance to speak to Imran Khan and at that time I felt his ideas were very clear when it came to reforms,” he said. “There is no leader like Imran Khan in the Muslim world. You can disagree with him but look at the Turkish leadership which is unacceptable to the West or the Iranian and Saudi leadership which has its controversies. Imran Khan is the only leader who brought the Muslim world together,” he said. On the other hand, senior leaders of PTI have expressed displeasure on statement of Fawad Chaudhry on grouping in the party. On Tuesday, Information Minister Shibli Faraz was asked about Fawad Chaudhry’s statements, to which he responded that he had no clue about this affair. “Fawad Chaudhry is a close friend of mine. He has a style of his own, but no. I don’t have the details of any such scenario.”

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