Tareen condemns social media campaign against Asad

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Staff report

ISLAMABAD

Jahangir Khan Tareen on Sunday condemned a social media campaign against former finance minister Asad Umar.

The senior PTI leader took to Twitter and said he holds Umar in the highest regard since they have struggled together against the status-quo for more than eight years.

Tareen’s show of support may come as a surprise to many observers as recent reports have alluded to an ever-growing rift between two groups within the PTI.

The South Punjab leader condemning the party’s leading social media warrior was also an unusual occurrence and sceptics believe it could be part of a greater smoke-and-mirrors strategy.

“Asad continues to be part and parcel of PTI senior leadership and we all value his role,” Tareen wrote.

Days after former finance minister Asad Umar turned down Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to head the energy ministry and resigned from the federal cabinet, PTI’s social media activists led by Farhan Virk have launched a campaign against Umar and his alleged plans of an intra-party power grab.

Virk responded to Tareen’s tweet with assertions of sincerity and said that he stands by his comments against the former finance minister.

The controversy started with Virk’s video message in which he accuses Umar of making moves to garner support for an alleged coup within the PTI.

Asad Umar stepped down in a cabinet shuffle on Thursday. The government named Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, a former World Bank official who served as finance minister from 2010-2013, as adviser on finance, replacing Umar.