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I refused to be part of new cabinet over difference of opinion: Chaudhry Nisar Ali

21 August, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Sunday claimed that both Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its leadership were ‘in trouble’.

“There is always a reason ... but I don’t think the time is right for me to discuss the reasons behind my resignation... times are not normal right now ? the party is in difficulty, the leadership is in difficulty,” the former minister told a crowded press conference at Punjab House when asked about reasons for his refusal to be part of new cabinet under Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The minister said he had declined to be part of new cabinet over a ‘difference of opinion’. “I refused to be part of new cabinet over difference of opinion. However, I will continue to be a member of PML-N,” Nisar said, clarifying that neither he had left the politics nor would he resign from the ruling party in these testing times.

“I’m grateful to Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Abbasi for trying to convince me to join cabinet... but I feel I have a difference of opinion. Tell me, isn’t it honourable for a person to disassociate himself over a difference of opinion?” the former minister said, adding, “In over country, people don’t leave even councillorship but I distanced myself from a powerful ministry.” In Pakistan’s history, how many people have left their offices on a point of principle? He further asked.

Nisar said that he had a difference of opinion with Nawaz Sharif even after his disqualification by the Supreme Court. “I put forward my reservations in a closed-door meeting of the party’s central executive committee, which were leaked to the media. The news was leaked on ill-intentions and those responsible are dishonest,” he said, while advising the media to confirm anything about him before publishing.

Taking credit for a significant downturn in terrorism in the country, the former minister presented a detailed review of his ministry’s performance during the last four years. He said Pakistan was one of the few countries where the trend of terrorism had significantly reduced, adding that today the country had no terrorist network. “I have cancelled Pakistani passports of 32,000 foreigners; cancelled more than 0.2 million prohibited-bore licenses and cancelled CNICs of various individuals as part of fight against terrorism,” he said. Daily at least thirty thousand people move across the Afghan border which has been reduced at Torkham and billions of rupees are being spent to bring a controlled border control mechanism, he added.

Commenting on the Dawn Leaks controversy, Nisar said the decision to initiate an inquiry was taken by the government and it was the government’s responsibility to make the report public.

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