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Nisar denies being on the phone with PTI

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Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N’s) leader and former Federal Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan has denied the reports that Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan contacted him to join his party. The disgruntled PML-N leader put all the rumors to rest in an interview with Dunya News by stating “neither I contacted PTI, nor have they [PTI] contacted me.”

“I have been in the party for the last 34 years, and whether it is PML-N or PML-Sheen, both are acceptable to me, but a PML-MA (Mehmood Achakzai) would never be acceptable to me,” he clarified. If PML-N will make an alliance with Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s Chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, and follows a line of Pashtun nationalists, and deviates from the nationalist ideology of the party, Nisar may opt to leave the party.

Nawaz and Nisar are yet to speak to each other. It appears as both the leaders do not want to take the blame for  the fallout and even in the case, if Nisar leaves the party, none of them wants to take responsibility for his ouster from PML-N.

The speculations were rife in the media that the long-term lieutenant and maverick PML-N leader, Nisar, has parted ways with ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and effectively with PML-N. Moreover, media pundits speculated that Nisar is in talks with the PTI leaders through the backdoor channel. But, there has not been any formal development in this story.

Despite the meeting the PML-N President, Shehbaz Sharif, differences between the disgruntled Nisar and his party are yet to be resolved. The buzz was that Nawaz was not too pleased over Chaudhry Nisar’s public statements against his strategy and reportedly, it was the very reason which persuaded him to not invite Nisar.

Read more: Imran open to Chaudhry Nisar joining PTI

On March 19, Nisar had accused his party of suppressing the right to have a difference of opinion. On February 27, he was not invited to the crucial Central Working Committee (CWC) session to select the party president. The senior leadership of the party had a difference over the unilateral actions of the former interior minister which were openly debated in media.

In a press conference on February 10 in Taxila, Nisar declared that he was not prepared to work under the leadership of youngsters like Maryam Nawaz. Because “he is not ‘political orphan’ to call his juniors sir or madam”. Similarly, in the past, he had been a vocal opponent of Maryam’s role in party decisions. He reaffirmed on a number of occasions that he would not become part of any decision that makes Maryam Nawaz the party’s leader.

The speculations were rife in the media that the long-term lieutenant and maverick PML-N leader, Nisar, has parted ways with ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and effectively with PML-N.

Nisar is apparently singled out for not following the party line and failing to publically ridicule Khan over his personal life. Nisar’s decision to criticize PML-N is attributed to his right to have a difference of opinion; it speaks volume of his upright attitude and someone who is not afraid to take a decisive stance against his own party. His stance over institutional conflict created by PML-N is apparently commendable and reflects his trusts in institutes. 

Read more: Chaudhry Nisar reprimands the Interior Minister for not placing Nawaz Sharif’s…

Nawaz and Nisar are yet to speak to each other. It appears as both the leaders do not want to take the blame for  the fallout and even in the case, if Nisar leaves the party, none of them wants to take responsibility for his ouster from PML-N. Given the significance of the public criticism of party decisions from Nisar, it looks unlikely that the strained relationship between a narcissistic Nawaz and principled Nisar will mend.

If the things have escalated up to a point of no return is unknown. Nisar always demonstrated himself as a principled politician and is often appreciated by opposition parties for his conduct and his advocacy of institutional supremacy. Given the situation, will he stick to his principles or opt to be a loyal servant to his ‘Quaid for life’. The decision will depict his future political maturity and ascendance. 


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