ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister and senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan confirmed he is contesting the elections as an independent candidate but refrained from saying whether or not he has left PML-N.
During a media talk in Islamabad, Nisar was repeatedly asked to clarify whether he was still a member of the party, but he sidestepped these queries. However, he made it clear that he does not have any seat adjustment deal with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf or any other party.
The former interior minister added that he is contesting on four seats, two in the National Assembly and two in the provincial assembly, as an independent candidate.
While talking on his differences with PML-N’s supremo Nawaz Sharif, he said he does not have personal issues with him and the nature of the differences is completely political.
Nisar added he had been playing the role of devil’s advocate in the case of the former premier as, according to him, flattery is hypocrisy. He said he has differences with the party leadership but having his own opinions or enjoying freedom of expression is not a rebellion against the party.
PML-N mulls over Nisar expulsion
“I can’t think of ever harming PML-N as I am one of the people that founded this party," he further stated.
The former minister also said that after the Panama Papers verdict last year, he supported his party in parliament despite having reservations on some legislation, including the amendment made by the House to allow a disqualified person to head a political party.
Nisar said if he had a lust for power, he would have quietly applied for a party ticket. “I have never applied for a party ticket in my entire political career," he boasted, adding that interviews are for new entrants only not for veterans like himself.
Moreover, Nisar also lamented on false stories attributed to him and run by TV channels. He categorically denied comments attributed to him relating to Sharif and said comments were attributed to him that the deposed PM would not be able to show his face if he (Nisar) starts revealing things about him or if there are 10 flaws in PTI then there are hundred in PML-N. "Words that I could never have imagined saying were attributed to me," he further stated.
While talking about his chances of being elected, he said that in a survey conducted by PML-N, 98 per cent of people stated that they only recognised Chaudhary Nisar. He said he would hold a press conference when the Kulsoom Nawaz's health improves and let the media know the real situation.
Chaudhry Nisar rules out seat adjustment with PTI
While replying to a query regarding Zaeem Qadri, he said he should not be compared with anyone else as he has his own style of politics in which there is no room for hue and cry.
The former interior minister also spoke on security concerns facing Pakistan. He said the country is being pushed to a dead end. He said that a big conspiracy is being hatched against Pakistan, that Sharif is well aware of these security concerns, and that efforts should be made to save Pakistan from these threats.
“A serious crisis looming over there,” he stated. He said economically the country is on the edge of devastation. “Strategically, Pakistan is being besieged, and politically, we are house divided,” he stated.
On the killing of Mullah Fazlullah, he claimed that the US must have known of his whereabouts for the past two or three years. He questioned why Fazullah was killed at a time when the army chief was visiting Afghanistan when he could be killed by a drone attack at any other time.
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