Former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar threatened the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that he will make the Dawn Leaks report public if the party doesn’t call a Central Executive Committee (CEC) on the issue. He said this during a press conference in Taxila on Saturday. Nisar emphasized that Dawn Leaks is a national issue, not a party issue.
Talking to the media, Nisar clarified that he was not behind the removal of Pervaiz Rasheed from the party, of which the latter had accused him. He said that Pervaiz Rasheed was removed as the Information Minister after the recommendations of an inquiry committee of seven people. Nisar showed his disapproval over Rasheed’s comments, demanding that the former interior minister should be removed from the party. Nisar also questioned why was the former special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs, Tariq Fatemi, was removed from his post since his name was not mentioned in the leaks.
Dawn Leaks was the controversial story published in Dawn Newspaper in 2016, it told an account of an alleged confrontation that took place between civilian and military leadership during National Security Committee (NSC) meeting. The military expressed serious concerns over the alleged false story. Following the leak, Pervez Rashid was removed from his post on the recommendations of an inquiry committee probing the leak.
Cannot work under Maryam Nawaz: Nisar
The senior PML-N leader also said that he was not ready to work under Maryam Nawaz. He was questioned about his previous remarks about Maryam Nawaz, in which he had stated that she was inexperienced to lead the party. Nisar responded by saying that he was not a political orphan to call any junior ‘sir’ or ‘madam’. “You tell me, can I work under children?” he said.
He clarified that he had no dispute with the leadership of either Nawaz Sharif or Shahbaz Sharif but he cannot accept his juniors as the leaders of the party. Nisar clarified further that since there are many senior leaders in the party who could be the party head there was no need of bringing up juniors.
It is wrong to launch personal attacks against judges: Nisar
Commenting on the tirade against the judiciary by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, Nisar said that it was wrong to launch personal attacks against the judiciary. He explained that the PML-N has a clear policy that confrontation with the judiciary is a bad idea but party members have differences about the execution of the policy.
Nisar told that he was not alone in advocating a policy of non-confrontation, the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif are of the same opinion. He clarified that he will not become part of any forward block within the party.
Reports about friction between Chaudhry Nisar and Nawaz Sharif have surfaced for the past several methods. Nisar refused to become a part of the cabinet after Sharif was disqualified as the prime minister by the Supreme Court (SC) in 28th July verdict. He has been absent from all the senior member meetings of PML-N for the past whole year and kept mum during this whole period.
When Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as the PM, reports started circulating in the media that Nawaz wants his daughter Maryam Nawaz to become the successor of the party, while senior party leaders and Shahbaz Sharif wanted to inherit the coveted position. Media analysts believed that it created a rift within the party and since Nisar took sides with Shahbaz, he was ostracized from the central leadership.
Nisar’s policies as the interior minister were criticized among PML-N circles which included his policy to ban the visa of all foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It has been reversed by the present interior minister Ahsan Iqbal. Senior PML-N leader and former information minister Pervaiz Rasheed has also been trading blows with Nisar. Rasheed accused Nisar of having links with the army and betraying the PML-N on the instructions of the military.
Political experts believe that Nisar is in a tough position since he is a proponent of political loyalty but his future in PML-N appears grim. They believe that he wants to win back the favor of the PML-N leadership or put his weight against the PML-N to make them agree with his demands. It is unlikely that Nisar will leave the party but if his party leadership doesn’t approach him, he might have no options but to jump ships to save his political career.