ISLAMABAD - Estranged PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Monday ended the speculation surrounding his rocky ties with the party’s leadership, saying he will contest the July 25 general election as an independent candidate.

“The party (PML-N) has issued tickets to political orphans,” he alleged while speaking at a corner meeting at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Road. “I will contest the election as independent; there is a need for even more hard work now.”

The PML-N stalwart used the occasion to target his party’s leadership, saying: “These Sharifs will not able to show their faces anywhere if I decide to open my mouth.”

He suggested that he had been keeping mum on several matters because of his 34-year association with the Sharif brothers. “An opponent of Aurat Raj (women holding political office) has now imposed his daughter on the party,” he said, in an apparent reference to PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

Asked by party workers whether he was considering joining the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Nisar opted for a vague response: “You focus on the elections, [I] will decide what is better.”

The PML-N stalwart did, however, say that “while there might be 10 faults within the PTI, there are more than 100 flaws in the N-league.”

Nisar had on Sunday filed nomination papers to contest the elections for two National Assembly seats and as many Punjab Assembly seats as an independent candidate.

The former minister’s nomination papers were submitted by his aides for NA-63 Taxila, NA-59 Rawalpindi, PP-12 and PP-10. He has previously dismissed demands from some PML-N leaders that he appear before the party’s parliamentary board to qualify for a ticket, saying there was no precedent of the party’s senior-most leaders sitting in an interview. “I neither expect their [PML-N] ticket nor do I need it,” he had said.