Aleem Khan challenges Imran Khan for TV debate

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ISLAMABAD: Dissident PTI MPA and former senior minister Abdul Aleem Khan has challenged PTI chief Imran Khan for a TV debate, a day after the former prime minister levelled allegations against him.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Aleem Khan also made some startling revelations about Imran Khan and Farah Khan, a close friend of Imran’s wife Bushra Bibi.

Aleem proposed that he, another dissident PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen and Imran Khan should participate in a debate on TV, so that people could know the truth.

In a podcast on Thursday night, Imran Khan levelled allegations against Aleem Khan and Tareen claiming they wanted benefits from his government. Clips from the podcast were also aired by different TV channels.

Aleem Khan on Friday refuted claims made by the former prime minister.

He began by saying that he had watched the podcast interview given by Khan, who claimed that Aleem Khan wanted to legalized 300 acres of land in Lahore.

Aleem said that he wanted to say “categorically” that when he joined Imran Khan in 2010, he already owned the said development society with its 300 acres of land that he had purchased from a third party and the previous owners had already obtained all the approvals for the society when he bought it.

Aleem Khan said that when his father passed away, Imran Khan visited him in the same society.

“If I knew that I should support Imran Khan in 2010 because he was going to become the prime minister in 2018 and then I would buy 300 acres of land and get it legalized, then it must mean that I have an extraordinary broad vision that I knew [everything] eight or ten years beforehand,” he said sarcastically.

Aleen Khan said that he owned a total of 3,000 acres of land in the project and none of that land was “acquired” through government authorities. Instead, it was purchased from local farmers, who sold it under their free will to various owners, he said.

“Whether that was 3,000 acres of land or 10,000 acres, not a single inch was state owned. Neither there were any shamilat (common property) nor a single inch of state land,” he said.

Farah Khan

Aleem Khan then made revelations about Farah Khan.

He said that the land Imran Khan was taking about was now under RUDA [Ravi Urban Development Authority] that Imran Khan formed in his governemnt.

“The RUDA acquired the lands from private owners on state rates against a few hundred thousand rupees, and later distributed them amnong its blue-eyed developers. Who were among those blue-eyed developers, who among them benefitted [from it], and what relation they have with Imran Khan, it must be investigated,” he said.

“Do these developers also include the ones who hosted madam Farah in Dubai? Whose airplane she had been using, and who, due to her close relations, developed relation with Imran Khan? I believe that people should know everything.”

He said that after these 300 acres of land, Imran Khan would have to tell the people how the land under RUDA was given to developers.

Abdul Aleem Khan questioned whether the relatives of an LDA vice-chairman, who was appointed by Imran Khan, were among the ten developers who got the RUDA land. “Is Aleem Khan among them? If he is, tell the people,” he said with a smile.

Other projects than RUDA

The dissident member of the Punjab Assembly said that if he was among the people who benefitted from other government projects including a business district, he must be named, and if he is not among them, then the names of all those people who benefitted from these projects must be revealed.

He said that land was acquired at dirt cheap prices from common people and then plazas, shopping malls, and golf courses were developed on it.

“Khan sahib if you develop a plaza on such land, its status is green. Your plaza could be developed under RUDA, your shopping malls could be developed, your golf courses could be developed, but Aleem Khan’s society could not be developed. Why?”

Aleem Khan also said that it was Imran Khan who first came to him to seek money for his public-gathering accompanied by PTI leader Mahmood-ur-Rasheed.

The dissident leader said that he owned the same vehicle and house that he did before siding with Imran Khan.

“Do you have only this allegation to level against me,” Aleem Khan asked of Imran Khan referring to his 300 acres of land claim.

TV debate challenge

He warned Imran Khan that if the PTI chief levelled allegations against him, he, too, would speak up.

Aleem Khan said that he kept “mum for so many days” wanting to avoid revealing everything, but if Imran Khan desired that the issues must be made public, then all of it should come out.

“I want you to come and sit at any TV channel with me and Jahangir Tareen. And then the three of us speak the truth before the people. Then it would become clear what you were saying and what we were saying. What was your version [of the events] and what was our version. Whenever you want, wherever you want, whichever channel you want, for whatever hours you want, come let’s do a program. Let the people know what is the real face” of Imran Khan, Aleem Khan, and Jahangir Tareen.

“You would have to tell what benefit I derived from you,” he said addressing Imran Khan. Aleem Khan said that he supported Imran Khan when the PTI chief was in opposition, but other people got closer to Imran when he took power.