Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification is a victory for justice and accountability, but Jahangir Tareen’s is not? Hypocritical much, Imran Khan?

Published: December 20, 2017

Imran Khan gestures to supporters at the anti-government rally in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

For years, privilege and accountability have been castrated very separately, not appearing together very often. But in recent months, the tide has changed. From the disqualification of Pakistan’s majority-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to the recent outcasting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) bigwig Jahangir Khan Tareen, accountability is seeping deep into our political system.

The populace of Pakistan has struggled and strived for the establishment of fair justice, one that was once considered a pipe dream, but for many, the waves are finally crashing, and it seems they are not very favourable for those in or aspiring for power.

Several months ago, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi filed a petition against claimants of insaf (justice), PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Secretary General Jahangir Tareen. After hearings ranging several months, the judges disqualified Tareen and buried the case of Imran. This was followed by an uproar by all parties terming this decision a balancing act, with the government putting on a front of balancing the disqualification of Nawaz, whilst the PTI  placing their critique upon the doctrine of balancing, with regards to the decision in favour of Imran.

And therein lays our greatest problem.

Our political parties are infested with such great self-interest and personal gain that they refuse to acknowledge their wrongdoings, basing their faults upon technicalities. Following the Nawaz iqama decision, the entire narrative was built against this technicality, which was consistently thwarted by opposition parties, specifically PTI. With all its valour and glory, PTI preached for justice, equality and the true representation of accountability, yet as soon as they were served justice, their yelps of disapproval arose like igniting flames, exposing the hypocritical political practices we have accumulated.

Tareen is a renowned businessman and one of the wealthiest people in Pakistan. His acceptance of crimes such as insider trading, evading agricultural income tax, and misrepresentation of assets did not become a source of his disqualification, but it was merely a technical error in a trust deed that led to his ultimate doom – or so he claims in his tweet right after the judgment.

This was very similar to the narrative adopted by the PML-N after Nawaz’s disqualification. However, the judgment was followed by Imran’s encouragement for Tareen to stay on as Secretary General of the party, owing to the new amendment that permits disqualified people to hold office – an amendment duly criticised by the PTI.

Yet, this very amendment could have become a saviour for Tareen. Despite Imran’s insistence, Tareen proceeded to render his resignation, an act hailed and brought to massive accolade by the PTI leader, on accounts of possessing moral authority. And thus, the paradox piqued.

In a recent interview, Imran was questioned about the similarities between Nawaz and Tareen’s disqualification, and the only reply he was able to muster was that of their statures; Nawaz being the greatest criminal in Pakistan’s history, while Tareen was merely a successful businessman, Imran’s words in precision.

I have been a strong proponent of numerous policies that Imran propagates, yet this is one perspective I just cannot assimilate. Since its conception, PTI has been against double standards, misuse of power, illegal activities and has literally tasked itself as the universal moral police. Perhaps, one of the major defence of Imran’s injection of tried and tested politicians into PTI was the fact that if suspicions rose, they would be dealt through the proper channel, that is the judiciary.

Nevertheless, today we witness exactly how lust for power alters a person. There is no saying that Imran has changed. In the current political climate, I feel there is no better option than him, yet he is no longer the Imran of glory, nobility and grace. He is now the man who stands for the Tareens, the Chaudhrys, the Khars, the Awans, the Jatois, and the list is endless. He is the Imran who is more determined to fish for electables, vying to cash this glowering opportunity for the upcoming general elections, than the Imran who heaped his strength upon accountability. For ideological supporters like many of us, it is heart-breaking and disappointing to witness the morals and ideals of PTI go to waste.

PTI has had the toughest struggles in terms of not being able to bag many seats. Yet, Imran persisted. He was adamant not to falter until the massive rally held in October 2011 that turned the tables. To this day, I regret the moment electables spaced into the party. What was envisioned as the podium of change, the platform for youth, the vision of idealists, slowly churned into a disaster.

Tareen was indeed a great worker for the party; his contributions both in terms of intellect and finances were great. But he was not the face of PTI that many of us were looking for. When Imran talked of offshore companies, one simply could not forget Tareen’s. He was a contradiction of the ideology PTI stood for in 1996. Yet, it was not Imran who sacrificed Tareen for his country, it was the judiciary. And that is perhaps our most harrowing grief.

As we pay our regards to the respectable judges for the historic decisions they have been taking these past couple of months, it is imperative that we hold our leadership accountable, be it Nawaz, Bilawal Bhutto/Asif Ali Zardari or Imran, they have all failed to stand up for their country. But the most astonishing of them all has been Imran’s response. He was one man who we all expected to side with truth, irrespective of where it came from, and who it was against, but he proved to us that the judicial tide may have risen, however, the political one is barely simmering.

The Imran I know of and respect is beyond political affiliations and personal interest; he is the man who gave up everything, his family, his wealth and his time to bring about what he envisaged as true ‘tabdeeli’. As an ideological PTI supporter, I can only pray and hope that Imran sees sense soon, for if he does not, yet another political force is up to be auctioned for the past poli-tricks that have pushed Pakistan into a dark abyss of doom and despair. And when that happens, we can only wish upon the stars for a miracle.

Pakistan Paindabad!

Oroba Tasnim

Oroba Tasnim

A visionary donning idealism, a revolutionary seeking reprieve. She tweets @OrobaTasnim (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Akber Shakil

    Unlike Nawaz sharif is Jehangir tareen in gov and thus using its powers to stall rule of law to save his skin?
    secondly Nawaz sharif unble to provide money trail for his london property his lawyers begged supreme court to no sentence Nawaz sharif on corruption and money laundering charges but instead the cases should be sent to trial court to give Nawaz sharif due process of law that’s what SC did by sending his corruption cases to nab court.

    jehangir tareen gave full money trail of his London property with documentation of proper banking channels, and thus SC ordered no further probe in this regard, he was disqualified for not showing his london property as its own instead of his children despite its been bought through legal means.
    our bloggers form their opinions based on misleading headlines.Recommend

  • AQ

    If you are looking for ideal turn in political situation of Pakistan then, its merely a dream, a dream of many including me. But in real that is not possible in few years. The mess made by corrupt lot is not like a page of book, you turn it over and its gone. Its like replacing all the words in the book would definitely take time as well as an approach which goes linear, surely you have seen the dealing approach in IK, he now knows the crooks cannot be thrown away like trash, they have managed to grow roots deep down the society which need to be cleanup in much political way than abrupt change. If IK want to change Pakistan he need power to do that, Sooner he is in power better it is for Pakistan. hope you got the point.

    As for JKT, he is disqualified for not declaring an asset, that property his children have declared as their asset. So the condition of asset was confused either by lawyer, or while filing the asset declaration but definitely not hiding it all together and lie like Sharif Family. Thats why he has been appreciated to be truthful and there is no denying from him.Recommend

  • Maria

    Writer needs to read all three judgment before opening word document on her computerRecommend


    Nawaz Sharif.. and JKT both are corrupt and we have to accept it and treat them equally.
    Glad that Imran Khan came out clean.Recommend

  • Parvez

    To be fair…..comparing Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification with Jahangir Tareens is a very unequal comparison. Read the FULL judgment of five Supreme Court judges on the Nawaz disqualification and it is hard for a thinking person, not to agree. Then see the grounds on which Tareen has been disqualified.
    A basic principle of the law is that the punishment must be proportional to the crime……in Tareens’s case this was not so. Punished he should have been, disqualified ….no.Recommend

  • Bilal Khan

    Seriously? you guys have gone blind, if it were Pml-n or PPP on single accusation people blame the leader wholly alone. Look at this guy tweeting immediately for his corrupt friend, and it took more than 20 days for him to realize that a 16 years old girl was paraded naked in DI village.Recommend

  • Bilal Khan

    May God show his face to all the people who are blindly trusting over his vague slogans and ideologies! you guys are yet to witness that he has all this personality portrayed right now soon when he will be in power he would never even pay a heed to give an excuse for his party member’s being corrupting and eating the country like termites. lol the people are blinded by his marketing strategies! hahahahah a party that is solely dependent on their marketing strategies.Recommend

  • Bilal Khan

    He is such an hypocrite! and hypocrisy is not democracy.Recommend

  • Talha

    Insider trading is a corruption and cannot be viewed correct: Also its a judgement for off shore companies from a court and should be implemented for both JKT and IK.

    lets come out of the love of personalities and think as a nation, for the nation.

    Insider trading . Description internet: When insiders, e.g. key employees or executives who have access to the strategic information about the company, use the same for trading in the company’s stocks or securities, it is called insider trading and is highly discouraged by the Securities and Exchange Board all over the world.Recommend

  • Drive

    IK always has double standards and i am sure some Tareen Social media warriors will try to justify here as well.Recommend

  • mithidada

    I have read the FULL judgement which is NOT that of the 5 judges. That was an interim judgement. The full judgement is of the 3 judges. I cannot bring myself to agree. And I belong to NO political party.Recommend

  • mithidada

    He would not have if he was judged on the same basis as Nawaz.Recommend

  • Patwari

    One thing is very very clear, Nawaz has been in politics all his life.
    He knows how to fill out nomination paperwork. did it at 3 times as
    [failed and deposed] PM of Pakland. The poor man simply ‘forgot’
    that he was MD of his son’s company in Dubai. drawing a salary of
    more than 10,000 UAE dirhams a month!
    And what’s this about a second job? PM of Pakland is 8 days a week
    job. Where did he find the time to work this second job? That’s a violation
    of rules governing working as head of govt. in Pakland.
    This man Nawaz need to be put on Exit Control List. He abused his position.
    Need accountability of every single paisa and rupee of his vast wealth.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Or one week to realize that a teenager Aitzaz Hasan gave his life
    to save 200 fellow schoolmates in Bannu. By grappling with a suicide
    It took UTurn Khan more than one week to visit Aitzaz’s parents. Why?


    “ALL” politicians are corrupt. That Includes PMLN, PPP, PTI , MQM , MMA, PMLQ, PSP, ANP, Whoever . I Repeat ALL are corrupt and IF, you all think IK is not then you are Naive. Worse thing about IK & Musharraf are that they are Backed by The Jewish Lobby (i.e. USA also). So Let us not be Deluded as to think they mean well for Pakistan and Pakistani’s .Recommend

  • Parvez

    You are entitled to your view. The 3 member bench was an Implementation Bench, while the Final verdict was that of all 5 judges…..but as I said you are entitled to your view.Recommend

  • Hassan Mirza

    Pakistan is 13th most corrupt country out of 196 both parties are corrupt .Man knows by his companyRecommend

  • Sami

    Insider trading is considered a corruption in the financial sectors. Mr Jehangir Tareen accepted it and strangely Mr Imran Khan is even defending Insider trading??. I am out of words for this.

    Usually people get 10-15 years in America for Insider trading and here in Pakistan one leader known as Imran Khan and his blind followers are defending their party member who is involved in such heinous crime. ??Recommend

  • Sami

    So according to the people like you, Businessmen are allowed to do financial corruption and worst form of Stock corruptions like “Insider Trading” as long as they are not in the government.????

    PTI leaders and his followers are all hypocrites of the highest order.
    How can you even give arguments on these issues?Recommend

  • only truth is nature

    Jehangir Tareen is one of the highest tax payers.He made a technical mistake and Imran Khan is right.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Unlike Nawaz, Tareen declared his property in London. He bought it
    and gave it to his children. Since 2011. Nothing new there. Any father
    can gift his children property. Happens all the time.
    To date, no conviction or proof of ‘insider trading’. No Dubai iqama either!
    In Nawaz’s case there is no proof where the money came from or how
    the money reached London to buy very very expensive apartments there.
    Nawaz had fake letters from a Qatari prince. The prince did not show up
    in court. Nor did the prince show up at the Pak embassy in Qatar for a
    statement. To verify his letters. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, no no, nyet.
    No paper trail, or State Bank of Pakistan paperwork showing any proof.
    Actually no paperwork from ANY bank at all. None whatsoever.
    Hope this makes it easier to understand Sami.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Let’s not compare Pakistan to US. The famous Martha Stewart was convicted
    of insider trading. It’s a “white collar crime” meaning nobody was killed or any
    grievous bodily injury occurred to anyone. She paid a fine and spent 4 months
    in a minimum security prison. Which is like a country club. You are even allowed
    weekend passes, out of the prison. She spent her time there writing a book!!!

    Do not compare a third world country with US or Germany, or UK or Canada….Recommend

  • Maroof Hussain Sabri

    I am not sure if Imran will see sense soon but you will, for sure, see wrath of PTI supporters. I hope your inbox is not filled up with abuses and threatsRecommend

  • Patwari

    Exactly! The incompetence spread throughout the government is
    incomprehensible! The looting and plunder going on is incomprehensible.
    Sharif family owns Punjab. it’s their personal kingdom. They act like emperors.
    The Zardari/Bhutto family owns Sindh. it’s their personal kingdom. They are the
    royal family of Sindh. nothing happens without their approval. Everything is looted
    to bare bones. So now, ‘ghost schools and colleges’ are the scams.
    Teachers/professors salaries, upkeep money going straight to overseas accounts.
    It is amazing how they are getting away with all this.
    Only some goats and Pathans live in K-P. Nobody wants it. Too dangerous.
    Some Baltis and cows live in Gilgit. Nobody knows where it is. Some inbred tribals
    with guns roam about in Balochistan. Killing anything that moves. No one wants it.
    It’s not Pakland,…it’s Sheepland.Recommend

  • MJ

    Imran Khan is just another politician. He kind of reminds me of Obama who rode to electoral victory on the shoulders of his campaign promise of “change”. Also got the Nobel peace prize but did not much to bring any real change. Similarly Imran during his past 20 years has not been able to create any real change even in his own party. He has not been able to develop or groom leadership from the ground and was forced to give tired old corrupt politicians tickets to his party. Nazar Gondal is the main character of one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history of Pakistan. He was all evil and villain like when he was in PMLN, now that he has joined PTI, Imran has given him a clean chit.Recommend