In a surprising turn of events, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar has appointed Texas-based Pakistani-American businessman Muhammad Tahir Javed, a former donor and aide of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan, as his Special Assistant on Investment.
Javed subsequently joined the caretaker cabinet immediately, according to a notification from the Prime Minister’s Office. He will be granted the status of a Minister of State and entitled to the perks and privileges of that post.
His inclusion expands Caretaker PM Anwar Haq Kakar’s cabinet to a total of 28 members.
Javed, who has claimed to have close ties to the Joe Biden administration, has vowed to bring investment to Pakistan from overseas in his new role and has offered full support to the interim administration. He further said that Pakistan’s problems are of a short-term nature and will soon be overcome.
Who is Tahir Javed
Javed owns a US-based multi-million dollar health company, Riceland Healthcare. He describes himself as a Pakistani-American entrepreneur, investor, business magnate, and philanthropist on his social media profiles.
The 57-year-old had moved to the USA from Toba Tek Singh in Pakistan with just $500 in his pocket. But through hard work, he managed to become a successful businessman. In interviews, Javed claimed he engaged in menial labour and worked as a repairman, besides doing other odd jobs in the initial days after moving to the US.
Most curiously, Javed has a criminal record in the US, having been convicted of a felony. Texas Jefferson County’s District Criminal Court data show Muhammad Tahir Javed’s felony theft as Cause: 56447; offence date: September 25, 1990, Beaumont, Texas.
A case was filed on November 5, 1990; his offence was described as: theft by receiving; "probation amount: 5; and description: P/G Judge; and Deferred Completed: March 28, 1994."
Javed was sentenced to serve five years of deferred probation beginning in January 1992 for a felony after committing theft in September 1990. He served only half of that term.
After completing his sentence in 1994, Javed focused on business. With help from his brother, he progressed and set up several companies.
In 2018, Muhammad Tahir Javed stood in the US Primary Elections to represent Texas District 29 in Congress. His campaign manifesto stated he "understands the problems facing the district and the country, and the experience and desire to get things done".
He hoped to replace Democrat Gene Green, who had served as the Texas District 29 Representative since the district was created in 1993. Javed, however, lost the election to the veteran Democrat candidate.
Supporting and falling out with Imran Khan
Javed had campaigned for Imran Khan and the PTI apart from providing donations when the party was in power. But in recent months, he has become a fierce critic of Imran Khan, terming him a failure as a prime minister whose only claim to fame was his celebrity status as a cricketer.
When Imran Khan was in power, Javed said he publicly complimented Imran Khan for his "successful" USA visit and for highlighting important issues.
In November 2019, Imran Khan especially paid tribute to Javed for his services, saying, "Tahir Javed has been instrumental in setting up a Pakistan Congress Foundation that has played a key role in the revival and activation of Congressional Pakistan Caucus at the 116th Congress".
For his part, Javed claimed that he arranged for Imran Khan’s meetings with over 63 US Senators during the visit. The PTI, however, clarified that Javed arranged a meeting with only three Senators while meeting with the rest was made possible through the efforts of the Pakistan Embassy and the then government. In pictures released, Javed is seen standing next to Imran Khan during these meetings in the USA. The two also met at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington at the conclusion of the visit.
Javed said he then met with Imran Khan in Islamabad.
"Had the immense pleasure to meet up with Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. Congratulated him for giving the rights to overseas Pakistanis to exercise their vote in the future ballot exercises and commended him on his speech at the UN general assembly on Islamophobia."
Just before Imran Khan’s removal, Javed was still campaigning for PTI and Imran Khan with help from other PTI leaders in the 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, Javed turned against Imran Khan. He said that President Joe Biden did not speak to Imran Khan despite the best efforts of Imran Khan because he did not trust Imran Khan and did not like several statements he issued on international matters.
Considered close to Hilary Clinton and several Democratic Party leaders, Javed has said that Imran Khan’s public support for the Taliban annoyed the US government immensely.
Javed said that Imran Khan should not have conducted foreign policy matters in the manner he did.
But in a recent interview, Javed said that he did his best for Imran Khan, campaigning for him, especially during Imran’s visit to the USA in November 2019. But Javed claimed it turned out that Imran Khan was not trustworthy.
Imran Khan’s visit to the US was a waste because it did not materialise in any success or benefits for Pakistan because Imran Khan had no substance, plan, or vision, he said.