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Nisar’s reservations

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has advised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to accept whatever the Supreme Court verdict in the Panamagate case. The word of advice came minutes before the apex court announced it would give the final judgment in the case.He urged Sharif to keep his feet on the ground if the verdict comes in his favour and react ‘very patiently’ if the judges rule against him. Nisar said he would continue to stress on evolving harmony amongst the national institutions. He said that Pakistan was passing through a dangerous phase and the only way to pass through it successfully was through forging unity in ranks.The minister said the PML-N was a national political asset and it must be kept united.
Nisar said he wanted to take the extreme step of stepping down as interior minister and member of the National Assembly “until Thursday morning”. However, he changed the decision after meeting ‘some friends’. Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif met Nisar in the federal capital in a last-ditch effort to win him back – but to no avail. He said if the court ruled against Sharif then he must not be considered for any slot. Nisar did not target the prime minister but criticised some of the party leaders who have been speaking against him in the presence of Sharif with an objective to create differences. However, the minister complained that he was kept out of crucial consultations on the Panamagate case, though he had been part of every meeting of the party during the last 33 years.During that period, Nisar said he was invited to just three meetings – national security, cabinet and parliamentary committee meetings.The interior minister said he was a victim of internal intrigues. He said during a cabinet meeting he asked the premier why conspiracies were being hatched against him when he was not registering a complaint against any other cabinet colleague.Without mentioning any name, Nisar said there was a person who in addition to being involved in financial irregularities also had moral issues. He concluded with some sound advice to the prime minister, whom he praised throughout as a ‘great and humble leader’. The minister said he would continue to stress on developing harmony among state institutions. Speaking on civil-military relations, Nisar said he was proud of his family’s army background that spans over four generations but added that he never compromised on civilian supremacy. Nisar, known as a hard-core ideologue within the party, quashed the impression that he might join some other political party, saying he could not even think of switching loyalties. Difference of opinion in a political party is nothing new. It is making of the differences public that matters as this has the possibility of widening the rift to disadvantage of the party. PML-N is passing through one of the most critical phases of its existence as the sword of Panama Papers case is hanging on its head. But it is also a fact that in democracy it is majority that prevails and if his opinion was not given weight by party leadership or the majority then he should not go public with differences and accept the majority decision. It was not appropriate for Ch Nisar to presents its reservation regarding party leadership publically. Party leadership should handle the situation wisely before the situation become out of control for them.

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