Former defence minister Pervez Khattak (left) and Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party chief Jahangir Tareen. — PPI/Facebook/Jahangir Tareen

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Former defence minister Pervez Khattak (left) and Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party chief Jahangir Tareen. — PPI/Facebook/Jahangir Tareen

PESHAWAR: Hours after it was reported that Pervez Khattak would be joining Jahangir Tareen in his new political venture, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader said that he has not met the Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party’s (IPP) chief.

“I have had no meeting with Jahangir Tareen. At this time, I do not wish to speak on any political matters,” the former defence minister told Geo News

He added that Tareen’s party had neither offered him the post of secretary general nor he accepted any such offer. “I am at my place and in touch with my colleagues in the province.”

Earlier today, it was reported that Khattak is likely to be made secretary general of the newly-established IPP.

The development came two weeks after Khattak announced in a presser that he was stepping down from his position as president of the PTI’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter. However, the PTI chief’s aide had dismissed reports that he was quitting the former party and termed them “propaganda”.

Jahangir Tareen — once a close aide of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and a key person in bringing the party to power in 2018 — officially launched his new party on Thursday, saying that he joined politics to play his role for the betterment of the country.

However, Tareen and Khattak are not the only former PTI members in this new party.

In fact, several PTI defectors — who parted ways from Khan following the May 9 mayhem — have joined hands with Tareen.

On May 9, the PTI chairman was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court. His arrest triggered almost countrywide rioting, during which important military installations — including the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and Lahore Corp Commander’s residence — were attacked and vandalised.

Since then, there has been a mass exodus of PTI leaders jumping ship and many that claimed to leave the party had stated in their press conferences that they had bid adieu to politics.

Some of the notable people to join IPP include Fawad Chaudhry, Ali Zaidi, Imran Ismail, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Aamer Mehmood Kiani, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, Mahmood Baqi Maulvi, Fayaz ul Hassan Chohan and Murad Raas.

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