LAHORE - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday assured Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan that he will address his concerns at a meeting to be held in Islamabad with the ministers whose conduct allegedly made Nisar an estranger in the government.
In the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, the prime minister held second meeting with Ch Nisar at Raiwind within 24 hours since he came to the city on Friday evening on persuasion of Shahbaz.
Ch Nisar renewed his confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and allegiance with the party and cleared his mind by hugging the prime minister. Sources say that Ch Nisar, who had been disgruntled with the party leadership including the prime minister over the last 15 days or so, was in a better mood on the occasion as he was more on the side of agreeing to the PM’s call for coming back to the normal business of his ministry. However, he reserved the right to plead for his ‘principled stand’.
On arrival at the Raiwind Palace of the Sharifs, Nawaz warmly received Nisar and at first sight after the greetings, the PM in a lighter vein said ‘Ch Sahib aap to naraz hi ho jatey hein’ (Ch Sahib you get annoyed) and Ch Nisar replied ‘Naraz bhi to apno say hoa jata hei’ (it happens that one gets annoyed with one’s near ones).
In fact, the tension between the two sides had evaporated in the first interaction while in the second session they discussed how to work out things for future relationship between Ch Nisar and his political opponents in the party and how the prime minister would act to keep up this equation.
In the long hours meeting, Ch Nisar laid open his heart before the Premier against the behaviour shown towards his ministerial authority by other Cabinet members on the national issues. Sources privy to the meeting said, he particularly mentioned the role played by Defence Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif on the question of talks or war with Taliban wherein he grieves his opinion was not given due weight.
Later, he was not taken onboard on launching military operation in North Waziristan. On the high treason case against former military president Pervez Musharraf, Nisar felt his authority discounted as senior member of party and the interior minister. He also wanted the counter terrorism authority under the command of his ministry.
The interior minister has softer stance on the issue of keeping Musharraf’s name on the ECL as against the other ministers who had prevailed to make Nisar isolated. Ch Nisar has also been a supporter of peace with Taliban on the premise that backlash of the military action from Taliban would fall hard on the government and an uncontrolled situation may invite interference of a third force on the civil side.
Sources say on certain issues Ch Nisar reserved his right to disagree with other members who stay close to Nawaz Sharif and it was decided that in the next round of meeting all the concerned would be got together and a framework for everyone would be devised so that no-one feels aggrieved. As to reservations of Ch Nisar, the prime minister would also mediate to solve them in the presence of defence and commerce ministers and others in the next meeting in the federal capital, they add.