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Imran open to Chaudhry Nisar joining PTI

Chaudhry Nisar
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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has invited the ostracized Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Chaudhry Nisar to join his party while speaking to the media in an informal press briefing on Sunday. Khan said that it would be good if Nisar joins PTI. The PTI chief also offered that if Nisar decides to contest the election as an independent candidate, PTI might support him.

Khan’s offer to Nisar came a day after the former interior minister held a press conference in Taxila and publicly acknowledged his differences with the PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. The PML-N leader had expressed that he is not willing to work under the leadership of Maryam Nawaz since she’s his junior in the party. Nisar had also expressed his disapproval over the confrontational politics of PML-N with the judiciary and apprised the media that he had advised the PML-N leadership against it. He threatened to make the Dawn Leaks report public if PML-N doesn’t call a Central Executive Committee meeting (CEC) on it.

Experts believe that Nisar has very few options ahead of him in PML-N. He can either accept the leadership of Maryam Nawaz or stay as an estranged member without any political weight within the party.

When asked about the possibility of an alliance with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the PTI chief said, ‘an alliance with Bilawal means conciliation with Zardari which is not possible’. Imran Khan on a previous occasion had expressed that an alliance with PPP was possible without Zardari. It appears that he is still firm on his stance. He told the media that he will offer his forgiveness to Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari if they bring back the looted money to Pakistan. Khan predicted that PML-N would start falling apart as soon the caretaker government takes over.

Read more: Ahsan Iqbal and Chaudhry Nisar clash over visa policy

This is not the first time that Imran Khan has offered Chaudhry Nisar to join. He had offered him to join in PTI’s 2014 dharna. Both have claimed to be close friends and their association is known in all political circles. Media analysts believe that Nisar is a political heavyweight and if he deserts PML-N it would be a big blow to their party and might result in massive disintegration of the party. However, it is only a possibility since the departure of Javed Hashmi from PML-N and his induction in the PTI didn’t make a huge difference to PML-N.

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 establishment and betraying PML-N on the instructions of the military.

Imran Khan’s PTI is notorious for being a party of turncoats among political, media and public circles. The joining of another renegade member from the PML-N will only reinforce this status and political experts believe that it will hurt Imran’s slogan of a ‘New Pakistan’. Media circles report that the public image of PTI has already been tarnished a great deal for accepting members from allegedly corrupt parties. Some political rivals have mockingly called PTI a purgatory where the sins of corrupt politicians are washed to make them pure again.

Read more: Ch. Nisar says he won’t work under “juniors” and threatens to…

When Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as the PM by the SC in its Panama Papers case verdict on 28th July 2017, reports started circulating in the media that Nawaz wants his daughter Maryam Nawaz to become the successor of the party, while senior party leadership wanted Shehbaz to inherit the coveted position. Media reports started circulating that Nisar’s bias towards Shehbaz created a rift within the party and when Nawaz and Shehbaz reconciled, Nisar was ostracized.

This is not the first time that Imran Khan has offered Chaudhry Nisar to join. He had offered him to join in PTI’s 2014 dharna. Both have claimed to be close friends and their association is known in all political circles.

The political future of Nisar appears very grim in PML-N according to media analysts, since he’s being excluded from the PML-N decision-making body for the past whole year. The policies of Nisar as the interior minister were criticized among the PML-N circles which included his policy to ban the visa of all foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This decision was reverted 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 establishment and betraying PML-N on the instructions of the military. The anti-Nisar group in the PML-N accuses him of facilitating Imran Khan in his 2014 dharna. Experts believe that Nisar has very few options ahead of him in PML-N. He can either accept the leadership of Maryam Nawaz or stay as an estranged member without any political weight within the party.


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