The Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, has finally stepped up after a week, to visit the Ismaili community after the tragic killings. His late visit is very intriguing particularly in the backdrop of speculations that he has numerous differences with the Prime Minister. While Nisar’s denial of these differences is on record, it is not unusual in Pakistani politics that politicians act upon their own personal agendas until the last blow has been struck. His differences with Ishaq Dar and inaccessibility with other cabinet colleagues has been a part of the news for over a year now. His absence was also strongly felt on the first day of the Chinese President’s visit. Add to that his absences from important cabinet meetings and the Prime Minister has got a major thorn to deal with.
It seems that these differences arose around the issue of the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a US led drone attack when Nisar vociferously claimed that the efforts towards peace were scuttled by the killing of the militant’s leader. He further stated that every aspect of Pakistan’s cooperation with the US would be reviewed following Mehsud’s killing. No such review in prima facie has been carried out as yet. Nisar’s wailing, on the floor of the House after Mehsud’s death, concerned citizens who were surprised by his stance. The Pakistani Army however, took the right decision to wage the war against the Taliban while the politicians were busy using talks as a publicity stunt. The Interior Minister should understand that at his level, principled politicians make their grievances public and resign from their posts and may learn lessons from people like Dr. Mubashir Hassan who resigned from public office at the peak of the party’s powers.
The hesitation of the Prime Minister is also quite intriguing in dealing with a minister who has such a sensitive ministry and an ego. Is Nisar trying to make space for himself in some future setup?