ISLAMABAD - The federal government faced a serious blow on Thursday after powerful interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan entangled in a blame game with the main opposition party - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) - at a time when the ruling party’s top leadership is struggling to resolve the current political turmoil in the country.

In a statement issued here by the Ministry of Interior, the key PML-N’s minister squarely dubbed PPP’s senior lawmaker and Leader of Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan as being facilitator of a powerful land grabber in the country.

Nisar’s remarks came at a time when the ruling PML-N badly needs widespread political support to thwart the demands of long marchers led by Imran Khan of PTI and Dr Tahirul Qadri of PAT.

His statement not only plunged the government in a new trouble but also caused embarrassment for the top PML-N leadership and even triggered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to personally call Aitzaz Ahsan to apologise on behalf of his cabinet member. The PM also called PPP Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah and apologized to him. Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif separately telephoned Ahsan and apologized to him.

Apparently, Chaudhry Nisar gave the remarks in response to Aitzaz Ahsan’s other day’s speech in the joint sitting of the Parliament in which he severely criticising the ruling party had asked the Prime Minister that his team was inefficient.

“I know on whose behest Aitzaz is speaking,” the statement said adding that he was the person who was the representative and facilitator of the biggest land mafia of the country. The minister indicated towards property tycoon Malik Riaz Ahmed.

Otherwise it is the old habit of Aitzaz Ahsan or perhaps part of his politics that he raises voice for the oppressed and stands by the tyrant. The minister said that he is the person who uses politics as business and who in the name of Benazir politics takes personal advantages.

Aitzaz while talking to a number of private TV channels said that he would answer these allegations in the today’s joint sitting of the Parliament. He further said that the PM had personally apologized to him.

Interestingly, the PM apologized to the senior PPP leadership over his cabinet member but it apparently looked that he failed to persuade Nisar to withdraw his statement. This is because, till late night, the minister did not withdraw his remarks as it was being expected.