ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, in his much-awaited press conference today, said he had decided to resign from his ministry and National Assembly membership after Panamagate verdict is announced.
Moments after Nisar’s presser, Interior Ministry spokesperson issued a statement clarifying that the minister had not decided to resign. “He had made up his mind for ‘extreme decision’ by yesterday (July 26) evening, but he decided against it after meeting some close friends. Hence media should take the statement in the right context.”
Addressing a presser in the backdrop of Panama Papers storm and rumours of his ‘severing years-long ties’ with the party, he said he had no partiality for his ministry, “but I do care for my National Assembly membership because it connects me with people of my constituency.”
“God forbid if the verdict [of Supreme Court in Panama Papers case] go against the PM, I will be the first to come up face the axe. But if it comes in his favour, Mr. PM should keep his feet on the ground.”
He suggested the PM to prefer ‘forgive and forgot’ if the verdict comes in his favour.
He said he didn’t inform anybody including his party about the presser today. At the outset, Minister made it clear he won’t entertain any questions from the media.
Expressing his displeasure from being sidelined during key party meetings over Panama Papers issue, Nisar told media that many of the party’s cabinet members were around 20-year juniors than him, “and this precedent of keeping a senior member aside may have given a wrong message.”
“I was not invited in three key meetings of the party of late.”
He said he served his life for the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), “why would I leave them in a crisis situation.”
I have always spoken truth to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, no matter how bitter it is, said Nisar.
He said he could have easily appeased the PM, but that wont be called ‘loyalty’. “I always plays devil’s advocate with you [the PM], but not publicly.”
Without naming a PML-N leader, he said that particular person has serious clouds both financially and ethically.
Responding to general perception of his good terms with the army, he said: ‘I am proud to have an army background, but I never compromised on civilian authority”.
Nisar said he was proud that he belonged to a family with a army background. “But I never compromised on my civilian authority,” he added.
He vowed that he never spoke to any army chief regarding civilian authority.
‘Efforts to woo Nisar in vain’
The interior ministry spokesman on Wednesday said that Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has sought an explanation for being excluded from the consultative meetings of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).
The spokesman denied media reports that Nisar was displeased with the party leadership and efforts are being made to convince him.
The statement came hours after Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif met him at the Punjab House yesterday (July 26) to prevent him from holding a press conference to address party matters.
The spokesman said the truth is that the interior minister had adopted a contrary position on some important matters in the party’s internal meetings, after which he was excluded from the consultative process.
Therefore, the spokesperson said the interior minister is seeking an explanation about the attitude by the party, and whether he was excluded due to his stance or some other reason.
He said that unless a clarification is provided, it will be difficult to resolve problems in a positive manner.