Row widen between Chaudhry Nisar and PML-N
15 February, 2018
Lahore: Relations between former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz high command took a turn for the worse on Wednesday.
In a statement issued through his spokesman on Wednesday, Nisar reacted to claims made by PML-N leaders including party chief Nawaz Sharif in a video tweeted by Maryam Nawaz Sharif a day ago on Tuesday.
Nisar dismissed the impression that he had the former PM to opt for the Isb-Lhr motorway for his homecoming rally following his disqualification in the Panama Papers case. He said the decision had been taken in a party meeting held at Murree. The route was later changed and Sharif opted for GT Road on recommendation of a media delegation led by Mujibur Rehman Shami. The video shared by Maryam Nawaz shows State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry addressing Nawaz Sharif and saying, “You changed your decision to take the motorway to go to Lahore. It was a turning point when you decided to take GT road for the journey.”
At this, Nawaz asked, “Where are those people who suggested that we travel via the motorway?”
Amidst chuckles, party members noted that those behind the recommendation would not be found at the gathering. Then Nawaz said, “If you are sitting here, please raise your hand.”
Later, Nawaz mockingly said that one person had even advised him to take a flight from Rawalpindi to Lahore.
Talal Chaudhry can also be seen in the video saying that the ultimate victory of the PML-N was in the return of Nawaz to power. “Many people are saying that we will win [the election] with a two-thirds majority… but all these things can only be attributed to partial success. The success of our party’s stance is in your return and nothing else,” he says. Before Nawaz Sharif had decided to take the GT Road route, media reports claimed that Nisar wanted him to travel via the motorway.
Though he was not named in the video clip shared on Twitter, Nisar apparently thought that he was the subject of the discussion between Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N leaders.
In his Wednesday statement, Nisar said the decision to travel from the motorway was taken at a meeting of senior party leadership. The meeting held in Murree was attended by Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other senior leaders, the statements said, adding that a majority of the party members had advised taking the motorway to Lahore. “It had been decided during the meeting that a welcome ceremony would be held at every interchange, and a grand final welcome would take place upon entering Lahore,” it said.
“The decision is on record and news on the Murree meeting has been published as well,” the statement said, “The subsequent decision to take the GT Road was not taken on the advice of any politician. A media delegation headed by Mujeebur Rehman Shami had recommended that Nawaz opt for the GT Road for his journey to Lahore.” Nawaz then requested Nisar to convince Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif about the new route plan, the statement said. Upon being contacted by Nisar, Shahbaz agreed to the idea of entering Lahore via GT Road, it added.