After swiftly retracting his resignation from the National Assembly at the behest of other PML-N party members, Chaudhry Nisar sitting out on the new Cabinet is one of the bigger talking points in the selection discussion. While his decision to not take up his old seat in the Interior Ministry was all but established before the formal announcement by the new Prime Minister’s office, there were questions surrounding the role Mr Nisar would play for the party in the days that followed. Was an exit from PML-N also under consideration? These rumours have seemingly been put to bed for now, as the party stalwart used his speech in his home constituency, Rawat to state that Nawaz Sharif had his support through these testing times.

Cryptically stating that his reasons to not make himself part of the new cabinet would be revealed in the coming days, Chaudhry Nisar pledged his support for besieged Nawaz Sharif, claiming that he was willing to go every corner of the country to reiterate this fact. This constant back and forth has had the rumour mill swirling over the future of Chaudhry Nisar’s role in the party. Citing the “need to strengthen the party first, and no one should have any doubt that this will happen under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif”, while keeping himself away from the party’s leadership in government, it is not too clear how Mr Nisar is looking to unify the party when his own opinions seem to be one of the major causes for any disagreements that currently exist.

But there is hope still for an end to any tension. The party’s reaction following former PM Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification was to band together and focusing on consolidating its power until the next elections. And Chaudhry Nisar’s speech looks like an attempt to thaw the iciness. With Nawaz Sharif making a grand return to Lahore via the Motorway, The first stop at Chakri is likely to remove any remaining misgivings. For the sake of the party and the government, the sooner the better.