Jahangir Khan Tareen was born on 4 July 1953 in Comilla, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He graduated from Forman Christian College, Lahore in 1971 and received an MBA degree from the University of North Carolina, USA, in 1974.
He is an entrepreneur by profession and prior to entering in politics, he has also been a lecturer, and a banker. He headed the Punjab Task Force on Agriculture from 1997 to 1999 and the Punjab Task Force on Wheat Procurement and Marketing from 2001 to 2002.
In an interview with Newsweek Pakistan, Tareen said “he doesn’t belong to a political family, but he married into a political family”.
He began his political career in 2002 after he was elected to the National Assembly in the Pakistani general elections, 2002 from Constituency NA-195 on the ticket of Pakistan Muslim League (Q).
He served as special adviser on agriculture and social sector initiatives to then chief minister of Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. In August 2004, he was inducted into the federal cabinet and was made Federal Minister for Industries and Production in the Shaukat Aziz ministry where he remained until 2007. His sugar mills flourished during his tenure as Minister for industries.
In the Pakistani general election, 2008, Tareen was re-elected as the member of the National Assembly for the second time from Constituency NA-195 on the seat of Pakistan Muslim League (F).
He was the parliamentary leader of PML-F in the National Assembly. Later he formed a forward block known as “Tareen’s group” which comprised several seasoned politicians. In 2011, he said he was to launch his own political party consisting of politicians free from corruption charges. He later resigned from the National Assembly and in November 2011, joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf along with a number of associates, saying that his vision was similar to PTI.
In September 2013, Imran Khan appointed Tareen as the Secretary General of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
In the Pakistani general election, 2013, Tareen ran for the seat of the National Assembly from Constituency NA-154 (Lodhran) on the seat of PTI, but was unsuccessful.
In the 2015 by-elections, he was re-elected as a member of the National Assembly for the third time from Constituency NA-154 (Lodhran) on the seat of PTI. The seat was became vacant after Tareen filed a petition in which he accused of irregularities in the constituency during the 2013 general election.
Tareen was disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan from holding public office on 15 December 2017. On the same day, he ceased to be a member of the National Assembly. The next day, he resigned as Secretary General of PTI. In April 2018, the Supreme Court in a verdict declared Tareen ineligible to hold office for life.
In 2016, DAWN reported that critics of Tareen alleged that his sugar business thrived during the Pervez Musharraf rule during his tenure as Minister for Industries and Production for five years. DAWN further reported that there are many allegations of money laundering and loans defaulted against Tareen. Mohammad Zubair Umar also accused Tareen of multiplying wealth as a federal minister during the Musharraf rule saying that “Tareen waived a loan of Rs247 million together with interest drawn in the name of superior textile mills”. A reference filed against Tareen alleged he had received a Rs101m loan from the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited in the name of Tandlianwala Sugar Mills, which was later written off in 2005.
In 2016, PML-N filed a reference to disqualify Tareen from his National Assembly seat for “submitting false statements with the Election Commission of Pakistan and misleading the commission”. In 2017, ECP rejected disqualification references against Tareen.
DAWN reported that Tareen is known to finance protests and anti-government rallies of PTI.
In 2016, Federal Board of Revenue informed the Supreme Court of Pakistan that Tareen had not disclosed his offshore company in his wealth statements from 2010 to 2015. Later Tareen admitted that he had an offshore company in the United Kingdom registered under the names of his children.
Tareen is considered one of the wealthiest politicians in Pakistan, with assets worth around Rs1.18 billion; he owns thousands of acres of farmland and some of the largest sugar mills in Pakistan. He owns a private plane which he often offers to PTI key leadership for traveling. He inherited his first sugar mill in Rahim Yar Khanfrom his father-in-law Makhdoom Hasan Mehmood, who was a politician in the 1970s and 1980s.