News Analysis |
The former Federal Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, came up with nothing new in another ‘bombshell’ press conference over the weekend. Although the political commentators were eyeing the former security czar to announce his next political move, with many expecting a defection, Nisar ended up saying nothing new.
In his presser, the only fresh revelation was about the number of legislators who were ready to join him after the disqualification of former Premier, Nawaz Sharif, in the Panama Papers Case. The Pindiite expressed that as many as 45 to 50 lawmakers called on him and expressed their willingness to part ways with ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.
Showing his muscles and reaffirming allegiance with the embattled party, Nisar expressed that he could have taken 40 to 45 MNAs with him and left at the time of Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification, but he did not do so. The lawmaker also recounted that he was among the founding members of the party and was still standing by its leadership, though asked the leaders not to leave others behind.
If Sharif tones down on the establishment, what justification will he give to the audience for his ouster? Can Sharif say that he actually concealed a source of income and the offshore firms were set up through shady dealings?
Ch Nisar, who has distinguished himself by voicing dissent publically, also expressed that he had shared the political burden with Nawaz Sharif but was not the kind of a person who picks someone’s slippers. In recent months, it was repeatedly reported that Nisar might announce his defection to any other party, however, at the recent press talk, the former minister expressed that he will attend the meetings on the invitation but will not gatecrash.
The legislator also expressed dismay over the ‘aliens’ narrative propagated by former Premier, Nawaz Sharif, saying such comments make fun of Pakistan in the world. Ch Nisar, who was invited to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf thanked its Chairman, Imran Khan and clarified that he was not a disgruntled member.
The remarks of Nisar drew mixed reactions from the political corridors as the former minister walked a thin rope but successfully maintained a diplomatic stance. At one end he thanked PTI chief, but on the other end also deplored his statement about the involvement of Pak Army in 2013 elections.
In the same manner, he asked his boss Nawaz Sharif to get rid of sycophants, apparently referring to Pervez Rasheed and other hawks, but also clarified that he will attend the meetings, provided he is invited. Ch Nisar’s stance seems to be asking for recognition of his services from Nawaz Sharif, the former president of PML-N.
Although Shehbaz Sharif, the incumbent president of PML-N is very close to Nisar, he has never uttered harsh comments about him. Nisar takes a strong exception to his ties with the younger Sharif, to the extent that he does not find it a piece of news, to have met him.
Showing his muscles and reaffirming allegiance with the embattled party, Nisar expressed that he could have taken 40 to 45 MNAs with him and left at the time of Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification, but he did not do so.
On the other hand, his stance becomes altogether different when it comes to Nawaz Sharif – with whom he has not met for months, according to reports. By quoting the figures, that he was backed by some 45 MNAs, who ‘still approach him’, Nisar seems to have asked Nawaz Sharif to recognize his influence.
On the other hand, the former Premier, Nawaz Sharif has also put himself in a fix owing to his post-disqualification statements. The elder Sharif has constantly repeated the claims that his ouster was not on the basis of the salary, he drew from Capital FZE, but on the basis of his fractured ties with the power corridors.
When Ch Nisar is apparently asking Sharif to ‘do more’, Sharif has run short of lavishing praise on him. At one end, Nawaz Sharif is shackled by his outlandish statements regarding the role of ‘aliens’ in his ouster, on the other end, his narrative is further maximized by his daughter Maryam Nawaz- under whom Nisar has refused to work with.
Nawaz Sharif faces another problem obstructing thawing of ties with Nisar. The former minister is considered close to the military establishment as one of his brothers, Iftikhar Ali Khan, served as the Secretary of Defense while many of his relatives still serve in Pak Army.
In recent months, it was repeatedly reported that Nisar might announce his defection to any other party, however, at the recent press talk, the former minister expressed that he will attend the meetings on the invitation but will not gatecrash.
By making Nisar closer to him, Sharif will have to go soft on the military establishment in his statements, but he virtually does not want such détente. If Sharif tones down on the establishment, what justification will he give to the audience for his ouster? Can Sharif say that he actually concealed a source of income and the offshore firms were set up through shady dealings?
Read more: Imran open to Chaudhry Nisar joining PTI
The only possible solution to the problems faced by Nawaz Sharif is to use the establishment’s influence as a smokescreen, instead of justifying own position.
So in essence, Ch Nisar is staying with the same firm, demanding a pay raise, but Sharif is financially-strapped and both will continue to work on respective desks, till one ousts the other.