Asad Umar, Qaiser deny having contacts with Jahangir Khan Tareen

Clearing air about party affiliation, Qaiser says he has not quit PTI

ISLAMABAD   -   Two Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stalwarts including Asad Umar and former speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser on Monday separately denied having any contacts with the estranged party leader Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT) who is planning to form a new party ahead of general elections.

Qaiser, a close aide to former prime minister Imran Khan, also cleared the air about his party affiliation and said that he had not quit the PTI. For­mer secretary general PTI Umar, who had quit his all party positions after May 9 violence, said that he was not in touch with Tareen. In the past few weeks, business tycoon Tareen has been trying to poach as many PTI de­fectors to make his position stronger on the country’s political landscape.

Talking to reporters outside an Is­lamabad court where he appeared in connection with a May 9 violence case against him, he admitted having con­tacts with former party leader Fawad Chaudhry quite often. Responding to a question if Tareen was going to rejoin the PTI, Umar underlined that they did not have communication with each other. Last week, Fawad Chaudhry had made contacts with a number of PTI leaders besides meeting with party’s vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail giving rise to speculations that he was pursuing some plan of minus-Imran formula within the party. There are also some unconfirmed reports that the former information minister was in contact with Tareen.

Meanwhile, senior PTI leader and former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser in his interaction with journalists during his appearance in a local court confirmed that he had not quit the party. Since last week, there were widespread speculations on so­cial media that Qiaser had resigned from the PTI after he was seen sit­ting with another party leader Pervez Khattak in a press conference where the latter announced to quit the par­ty position. The former speaker had avoided speaking on the occasion.

Qaiser said that he was in contact with the party chief Imran Khan, add­ing that the PTI was serious about negotiations. Replying to Interior Min­ister Rana Sanaullah Khan’s recent statement that Chairman PTI Khan should call Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directly if he was serious in hold­ing talks to end the ongoing political crisis, he questioned how negotiations could take place in the current situa­tion of the country. He also denied hav­ing contacts with Jahangir Tareen.

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