Islamabad (July 27, 2017): Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has commenced his an important press conference, which was earlier been delayed twice in the past few days.
“I want to state unequivocally that I do not desire any position. My character is more important to me,” he said. “If the verdict goes against us, I will not say anything. Don’t expect me to,” he added.
“I want to tell Nawaz Sharif — if I was with you, I would tell you that if you are absolved in the Supreme Court, ‘keep your feet on the ground’. There will be those who will ask for heads for roll: I beseech you, you are a humble man. Do not fall for this.”
“You are a well-loved man. This country and its people have given more to you than to anybody else. You have to behave with restraint, and you have to take the party forward. You need to ensure unity in the PML-N and you need to take it forward. Do not be angry; people will want you to be angry.”
“Ask any general if I’ve ever sought to sacrifice civilian rule for my personal political gains,” he said, in apparent reference to speculations and rumours that Nisar has always been ‘the army’s man’.
“I do whatever it takes to maintain civil-military relations for the sake of supremacy of civilian rule,” he said. “Ask any military or intelligence leader if I’ve ever attempted to undermine the government for political gain.”
Clarifying that he was not taking any extreme measure right now, “owing to the pressure of friends”, Nisar nonetheless said he would resign from his ministry and the National Assembly on the day the Supreme Court announces the Panamagate verdict — “be it for the party or against it.”
“My heart is no longer in politics,” he said.
I love to be Member Parliament more than Minister.
The politics has become mental agony for me.
I will part away myself from politics after SC decision, whether the decision comes in our favour or not.
Saying he wanted to clarify why he differed with the PML-N leadership in a consultative meeting on the Panamagate case, the minister reiterated that he had been with the party for a long time and never considered leaving the party.
“For the past month and a half, I was suddenly excluded from the PML-N’s meetings. I do not know why this was so. I was not invited to these consultative meetings, and I do not attend if I’m not invited.”
“People said I’d missed the train. I don’t just get on any train,” he said. “I’ve been a victim of internal intrigues.”
“I was told by senior leaders not to do this press conference today. I told them I had to,” he continued.
“I had made a big decision. I had to announce it.”
“I love this party. Mian Nawaz Sharif created it and grew it through a labour of love,” he said. “I said this in the meeting, and I’ll say it again: when I look around me, the people who helped create this party are nowhere to be found. Some have left the party; some have left the world.”
“Someone who gave 33 years to this party cannot leave it just like that. But my 33 years worth of service seem to be reaching an end. It gives me great satisfaction that nobody believed that I would leave: even my opponents wouldn’t believe it.”
“All my life, I’ve spoken the truth to Nawaz Sharif. There’s never been duplicity in my intentions. My role was the same as the whisperers who would tell Caesar: ‘Caesar you’re human’.”
“It pains me to say this, but when the PML-N faced its most difficult challenge, there was a conspiracy to remove me from the consultative process.”
“I want to ask: ‘Why did you listen to these people?’” Nisar asked.
“When I have never criticised anyone in the party, why was I critiqued like I was?” he said.
Speaking on civil-military relations, Nisar said he had “never compromised on civilian supremacy” even though he had strong ties to the military.
“This is the most difficult press conference of my life,” Nisar told reporters.
Nisar spoke of his 33 year association with the PML-N and stressed that he would not leave the party in this difficult time. However, the minister stated that he was upset after being left out of senior PML-N meetings during the last one and a half months.
I am not angry, why would i be angry when my party leadership is in trouble,” he said. He, however, conceded that he was facing conspiracies and difficulties within the party. The interior minister said he would step down from his ministry and the parliament after the Supreme Court gives its ruling whether in favour or against [Nawaz Sharif], and won’t contest election”. I am done with politics”
Nisar Ali Khan said he had decided to make an extreme decision at a press conference on Sunday. “Had I announce the decision, they would have said i left in difficult time”.
He said he was the only person who always whispered in Sharif’s ear “Nawaz Sharif you are human”.
“Some of our friends and people from opposition had predicted Nisar Ali Khan wouldn’t leave the PML-N. I took these remarks for myself as an honour, he said. I dared to speak truth throughout my poltical career”.
Earlier Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tried to hold another meeting with ‘disgruntled’ Interior Minister and senior Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan today.
On Wednesday, a high-level delegation of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) met the estranged minister to get his proposed press conference cancelled.
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However, the interior minister remained steadfast on holding the press conference as the delegation, comprising CM Shahbaz, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq, held a meeting with him that continued for more than four hours.
Sources revealed that during the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif, with the assistance of Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Ishaq Dar, urged Ch Nisar to cancel the press conference that the interior minister has announced to hold on the prevailing political scenario in the country.
On this occasion, the interior minister assured them that he was not annoyed with anyone in the government; however, he wants to clarify some issues in the press conference.The high-level committee in the four and a half hour meeting promised Ch Nisar Ali Khan to remove all his reservations with mutual consent and compelled him not to hold the press conference.
Sources further disclosed that the interior minister demonstrated flexibility in his stance relating to differences with the party leadership on different issues and made it clear that he was not annoyed or aggrieved with any particular individual in the PML-N.
The interior minister, however, remained steadfast on holding the press conference to explain some issues relating to him in the media. Through the press conference, “I want to clarify some issues in detail and for this purpose, I have no personal grudge against anyone,” the minister pointed out.
The interior minister, in his stance, also stated that he will listen to the voice of his conscience and will not go against the interests of the motherland.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry dismissed media reports stating that efforts were being made to placate Nisar or that he is upset with the party leadership.
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“The truth is that the minister had adopted a differing position on some important matters in the PML-N’s internal meetings, after which he was excluded from the consultative process,” said the spokesperson.
He added that the interior minister is seeking an explanation for his exclusion and wants to know if the decision was made due to his opposing stance, or some other reason.
Shehbaz meets Nisar in appeasement effort
The spokesperson further said that unless a clarification is provided, “it will be difficult to resolve problems in a positive manner.”According to sources, during Wednesday’s meeting, Nisar sought time to review his decision, while Shehbaz asked the minister not to take any extreme measures.
Sources further added that Nisar was requested not to bring party affairs onto the media as the chief minister assured Nisar that all his reservations would be addressed.
The meeting came at a time when the political arena is rife with speculations of Nisar ending his 32-year long association with PML-N.
A much-awaited presser on Monday — in the backdrop of speculations of Nisar’s differences with PML-N leadership — ended with the minister declining to address any political issues in the light of the Lahore attack that left over 25 dead.