Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Railways Minister Saad Rafique met Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday to clear the air within the spheres of Pakistan Muslim League-N.
In a meeting at Punjab House here, the top-tier leadership of the ruling party tried their best to convince the interior minister so that he can pledge his support to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the time of political turmoil.
The sole purpose of the gathering was to listen to the concerns of Ch Nisar so that he can end his ‘rift’ with other party leaders.
During the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif requested Nisar not to hold a press conference to discuss party matters, and instead resolve them with dialogue and discussion with the party. He said that Nisar was a valuable asset for the party.
Sources said, during the meeting, the interior minister had sought time to review his decision.
Nisar reportedly apprised over his reservations with the party, and assured to resolve them with mutual discussion. He said that he has a dignified stance based on moral principles, while he has never considered himself above the party.
He reiterated his stance over the Panama Papers case and the Joint Investigation Team’s probe of the Sharif family. He also reassured that he would remain loyal to the party and would not part ways.
Shahbaz Sharif said that he would apprise the Prime Minister upon his return from an official visit to Maldives.
Sources said that a thaw in ties between the interior minister and the prime minister is likely as a result of the meeting. The chief minister had requested the interior minister not to take any extreme step and assured to remove all his concerns.
Meanwhile, an interior ministry spokesperson on Wednesday, speaking on behalf of Chaudhry Nisar, dismissed media reports stating that efforts were being made to placate the interior minister, who is reportedly angry with the PML-N leadership.
“The truth is that the interior minister had adopted a contrary position on some important matters in the PML-N’s internal meetings, after which he was excluded from the consultative process,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the interior minister is seeking an explanation for his exclusion from the PML-N’s meetings, and wants to know if the decision was made due to his contrarian stance, or due to some other reason.
The interior ministry spokesperson further said that unless a clarification is provided, “it will be difficult to resolve problems in a positive manner.”
The statement followed reports on Wednesday that it was unlikely that Nisar would make his political differences with the PML-N leadership public after he was reportedly assured that no change in the chain of command of the federal government would be made against his wishes.