Nisar’s No becomes Yes
Islamabad—Decades-old friendship with Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan has again worked for Imran Khan as the in-flight meeting between the two old buddies the other day has turned the big No of Nisar into Yes vis-à-vis holding of foundation day PTI public meeting at F-9 Park.
Since the storming of D-Chowk by pro-Qadri protestors, the Interior Minister had persistently been stating in categorical terms that nobody will be allowed to hold any sit-in or public gathering either at D-Chowk or the F-9 Park but the recent meeting between Nisar and Imran on the aircraft en-route to London led to the softening of stance by the latter.
Following the sit-in of Chehlum protestors, Nisar was of the view that Islamabad could not be allowed to become hostage at the hands of protestors every now and then and that talks will be held with the political parties and approval would also be sought from the cabinet for the fixation of any particular site for demonstrations in the capital. However, Imran Khan used his influence to get the permission once again from the old friend to hold the demonstration.
It is worth mentioning that during PTI’s infamous sit-in, the Interior Minister had gone out of way to facilitate Imran Khan, much to the annoyance of his party leaders. Chaudhry Nisar has now directed the Islamabad administration not to create hurdles in the way of PTI gathering and directed it to sit with the local leadership of the party to sort out all the issues.
According to the statement issued by the Interior Ministry, Chaudhry Nisar has said discussions with PTI should sought guarantees that the participants of the public meeting will disperse after the stipulated time.
He has also directed that such arrangements be made that the party gathering does not disturb the routine life in the federal capital.
This change in stance has not been welcomed within the PML-N ranks. According to a senior government functionary, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Interior Minister in the past also gave extraordinary favors to Imran Khan and some party leaders are wary of his tilt towards the PTI Chairman. “Chaudhry Nisar should have honoured his words about not allowing anybody to hold the demonstration or public gathering in the capital”, he said.
On the other side, the decision has been welcomed by the PTI leaders. They said the party was committed to hold the foundation day function in Islamabad at all costs but the Interior Minister has given a positive democratic gesture by allowing the PTI to go ahead with the public gathering.