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AGENCIES
11, September 2017 12:53 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Former federal minister and Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ch Nisar Ali Khan has said that he cannot accept Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as her leader; instead, he only considers her as his friend’s daughter.

“I can surely continue coexisting with Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif without any issue,” he said while talking to a private TV show on Sunday. Nisar said that despite repeatedly being offered the position of the prime minister, he did not take it as he did not have temperament or tendency to make compromises needed for the job.

“I am the senior-most member of the PML-N after Nawaz Sharif and was many times given the option to become the prime minister but I don’t have any interest in designations.” When asked about his friendship with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, he said that he never blew things out of proportion when it came to opposing the PTI.

“I was never a part of consultations regarding PTI’s entry in the Red Zone. It was a party decision which eventually escalated my difference with the party,” he said.

On the restoration of the sanctity of the vote, he said that he firmly stands with Nawaz Sharif on this stance. However, he opposes the method used by the PML-N and the ousted prime minister in this regard.

Nawaz alluded to Turkey’s president Tayyab Erdogan’s struggle for gaining public support and said the former prime minister can follow his example as governance only, and not confrontation with the institutions, can restore the sanctity of the vote. Nisar vehemently disapproved of Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s statement in response to the BRICS declaration that Pakistan has made some mistakes in the past.

He reiterated that the country was in dire need of a united front to tackle the international challenges. Earlier, he said that government’s confrontation with the judiciary is contrary to the interests of the country and political environment. When asked about his support for the army, Nisar mentioned various incidents of him speaking up against the army when it went against the state’s policies.

However, the former minister opined that unnecessary confrontation with the army can weaken the country’s position. Commenting on his relations with Nawaz Sharif, he said that “I have only tried to resolve issues in the four years of our government.” Moreover, he denies the claims that he was the one who landed Nawaz in trouble.

“I believe in stating the truth,” he said. “Nawaz Sharif never even frowned when I criticised policies and spoke the truth till 2013, but the past few years were different and resulted in the differences with him,” he said. “The Dawn Leaks’ initial investigation report was given by the army and IB,” he said, adding that he was the only person who spoke in the government’s favour during that inquiry.

“I always directly contacted Nawaz over policy matters but being stopped from doing so, I resorted to speaking in the cabinet eventually,” he concluded.