Pakistan premier adds convicted US national thief in govt cabinet

By Our Correspondent 

WASHINGTON: A Pakistani businessman from America who has a conviction for theft in the State of Texas has joined Pakistani caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar’as Special Assistant on Investment.

Texas based Pakistani-American businessman Muhammad Tahir Javed has been given the investment portfolio and has joined the cabinet with immediate effect, according to a notification by the Prime Minister’s Office. The PM has approved the same perks and privileges as the minister of state for Muhammad Tahir Javed, who has donated money to and campaigned for Imran Khan and the PTI in the United States while he was Prime Minister.

This appointment of Tahir Javed, who owns US-based multi-millions dollar health company Riceland Healthcare, has expanded PM Anwar Haq Kakar’s cabinet to six members, contributing to a total of 28 members in the caretaker cabinet. 

Tahir Javed describes himself as a Pakistani American entrepreneur, investor, business magnate, and philanthropist on his social media profiles. 

However, Muhammad Tahir Javed has a previous conviction for theft.

Tahir Javed, 57, moved to the US from Toba Tek Singh in Pakistani Punjab with just $500 and became a successful businessman. According to his interviews, Tahir Javed did senatorial duties and worked as a repairman, besides other jobs after initially moving to the US. 

According to court records of Texas, Tahir Javed was sentenced to serve five years of deferred probation beginning in January 1992 for felony theft dating back to September 1990. He was sentenced for five years but served only half of that term. Authorities in Texas had prosecuted him for theft and a minimum sentence for felony starts from a year.  

Texas Jefferson County’s District Criminal Court data records Muhammad Tahir Javed’s felony theft as Cause: 56447; offence date: 25 September 1990, Beaumont Tx; filing date: 5 November 1990; offence description, theft by receiving; probation amount: 5; and description: P/G Judge; and Deferred Completed: 28th of March 1994.”

After ending his theft sentence in 1994, Tahir Javed focussed on business and with help from his brother he progressed and went on to set up several companies. 

In 2018, Muhammad Tahir Javed stood in US Primary Elections to represent Texas District 29 in Congress. His campaign manifesto stated that he “understands the problems facing the district and the country, and the experience and desire to get things done”.

He had sought to replace Democrat Gene Green, who had served as the Texas District 29 Rep since the district was created in 1993. He lost the election to the veteran Democrat candidate. 

Tahir Javed campaigned for Imran Khan and the PTI while the party was in power but he has become a fierce critic of Imran Khan in recent months, calling Imran Khan a failure as PM whose only claim to fame is his celebrity status as a cricketer. He said in a recent interview that he did his best for Imran Khan and campaigned for him, especially during Khan’s visit to the USA in November 2019 but it turned out that Imran Khan was not trustworthy. He has said that Imran Khan’s visit to the US was a waste because it didn’t materialise into any success or benefits for Pakistan because Imran Khan had no substance, no plan and no vision. 

But when Imran Khan was in power, Tahir Javed publicly complimented Imran Khan for his “successful” USA visit and for highlighting important issues.

In November 2019, Imran Khan especially paid tribute to Tahir Javed for his services, saying “Mr. Tahir Javed has been instrumental in setting up a Pakistan Congress Foundation that has played a key role in revival and activation of Congressional Pakistan Caucus at the 116th Congress”.

Tahir Javed has boasted that he personally arranged Imran Khan’s meetings with over 63 US Senators during his visit. PTI has said that Tahir Javed managed only three Senators while the remaining were brought by the efforts of the Embassy and the then government. In the pictures released, Tahir Javed was seen standing next to Imran Khan during these meetings in the USA and the two also met at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington at the conclusion of the visit too. 

Tahir Javed met Imran Khan in Islamabad and said: “Had the immense pleasure to meet up with Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. Congratulated him for giving the rights to overseas Pakistanis to exercise their vote in the future ballot exercises & commended him on his speech at the UN general assembly on Islamophobia.”

Just before Imran Khan’s removal, Tahir Javed was campaigning for PTI and Imran Khan with help from the PTI leaders in USA, many of whom are now wanted on several charges in Pakistan for defaming Pakistani institutions. 

After Imran Khan was removed in a vote of confidence, Tahir Javed turned against Imran Khan and has said that President Joe Biden didn’t speak to Imran Khan despite the best efforts of Imran Khan because he didn’t trust Imran Khan and didn’t like several statements he issued on international matters. Considered close to Hilary Clinton and several Democratic Party leaders, Tahir Javed has said that Imran Khan’s public support for Talben annoyed the US gov beyond any limits. He has said that Imran Khan should not have conducted the foreign policy matters in the manner he did. 

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