Just weeks after appointing him, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar sacked Texas-based Pakistan-origin American businessman Muhammad Tahir Javed as his aide on investment.
A notification issued by the Prime Minister's Office stated that an earlier notification dated October 6 announcing Javed's appointment as the Special Assistant, was being withdrawn.
Insiders say the decision was reverted after intense lobbying from a group of Pakistani-Americans.
PM House sources, however, suggested that the decision came after it was reported in American and Pakistani media that Javed was previously convicted of theft, a record which he failed to declare at the appropriate moment.
It was also reported that Javed was a diehard supporter of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, having donated to Imran's cause and campaigned for him in the US before turning against the cricketer-turned-politician.
After approval from PM Kakar, the Establishment Division in Islamabad withdrew the notification for appointing Javed as the special assistant.
Soon after his appointment on October 6, it was reported that Javed had been given the same perks and privileges as a Minister of State despite being a dual national.
Who is Muhammad Tahir Javed
The 57-year-old businessman had moved to the US from Toba Tek Singh in Pakistan with just $500 in his pocket. According to his interviews, Javed stated that initially, after moving to the US, he participated in senatorial duties and worked as a repairman, besides doing other menial jobs to earn a living before he found success in business.
He describes himself as a Pakistani-American entrepreneur, investor, business magnate, and philanthropist on his social media profiles.
But before that, records from the Texas courts show that Javed was sentenced to serve five years of deferred probation beginning in January 1992 for a felony (theft) dating back to September 1990. He was sentenced to five years but served only half of that term. Authorities in Texas had prosecuted him for theft, and a minimum sentence for a 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: September 25, 1990, Beaumont, Texas; filing date: 5 November 1990; offence description, theft by receiving; probation amount: 5; and description: P/G Judge; and Deferred Completed: March 28, 1994.”
After completing his theft sentence in 1994, Javed focussed on business. With help from his brother, he progressed and went on to set up several companies.
In July 2017, Javed was warned of criminal prosecution, seizure or injunction by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The warning was issued over Royal Smoke LL, an online purveyor of tobacco and tobacco-related products. At the time, Royal Smoke was subjected to government intervention.
"FDA has determined that Royal Smoke products are misbranded…because you sold these products to persons under 18 years of age," read the warning letter FDA issued to Javed.
Javed was further cautioned against labelling and advertising outside the scope of the law and, barring corrective measures, could face criminal prosecution.
Javed and the Imran connection
Javed had campaigned for Imran Khan and the PTI while the party was in power.
But in recent months, he had become a fierce critic of Imran, calling him a failure as a prime minister whose only claim to fame was his celebrity status as a cricketer.
In a recent interview, Javed said he had done his best for Imran Khan, even campaigning for the cricketer-turned-politician during the latter's tour of the USA in November 2019.
However, Javed claimed that Imran did not turn out to be trustworthy. He has said that Imran Khan’s visit to the US was a waste because it did not materialise into any success or benefit for Pakistan as the former prime minister lacked substance, a plan and a vision.
But when Imran Khan was in power, Javed used to publicly compliment Imran Khan for his "successful" US visit and for highlighting issues important to the Pakistani public.
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".
Javed has boasted that he arranged for Imran Khan’s meetings with over 63 US Senators during his visit. Imran Khan's party, the PTI, has contested that claim, stating that Javed managed to get only three Senators while the remaining were arranged through the diplomatic efforts of the Embassy and the then-government.
In pictures from those meetings in the USA, Javed can be seen standing next to Imran Khan.
The two later met at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington at the conclusion of Imran's visit.
Javed and US politics
In 2018, Javed had contested 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 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.