ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan yesterday alleged Pakistan People’s Party wanted confidence-building measures with the government for settlement of its corruption cases.

“PPP wants settlement with the government over corruption cases, including withdrawal of the smuggling case against model Ayyan Ali and bail of Dr Asim HUssain (a close aide to Asif Ali Zardari),” said the minister, adding a ‘responsible person’ had conveyed this message to the government recently.

The remarks of the minister came in a press conference held at the Punjab House following the criticism of senior PPP leaders, Syed Khurshid Shah and Aitzaz Ahsan, over his role in implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) etc. Shah also accused the minister of being disloyal to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif following the former’s remakes in the National Assembly against Asif Ali Zardari.

The minister, without naming the ‘responsible person’, said the government had been conveyed that the prosecutor general should not oppose the bail application of Dr Asim Hussain in a terrorism case.

“What is the relation of Asif Ali Zaradri with Ayyan Ali?” he questioned and hinted at Sardar Latif Khosa, saying a senior PPP lawyer was defending her in the court free of cost. Air tickets are bought for Ayyan Ali and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zaradi with the money withdrawn from the same bank account, he alleged, adding FIA had collection this information.

Though the remarks of Chaudhry Nisar will intensify rift between PPP and the ruling party, the interior minister said he would continue to hold such press conferences and take the issue to its logical end. He said he would make no compromise in any corruption case being investigated by FIA against PPP. He alleged PPP had decided to target him.

Dispelling criticism of PPP for his response to the speech of PkMAP leader Mahmood Achakzai regarding the failure of intelligence agencies in the Quetta tragedy, he said it was the duty of the interior minister to respond to the allegations levelled against the army. “This never happens that the army responds to the allegations directly,” he said, adding he had done so after reservations came from a certain quarter at a meeting with the prime minister in the chair about this statement.

The minister suggested that this series of statements and counter-statements against each other should end and proposed the initiation of a debate on the media over the allegations levelled by both the sides. “The second proposal is that a judicial commission should be formed under Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed and Justice (r) Muhammad Tariq to probe all these allegations and the third proposal is that the Supreme Court should settle this mater,” he said, adding it should be made clear who was against corruption and who stood by it.

On one side, Nisar invited the opposition party to settle the issue while on the other he came down hard on it for the past corruption charges. He alleged PPP played a drama in the National Assembly by staging a protest walkout against him in the presence of the prime minister. He said former PPP government destroyed the record of Khanani and Kalia money laundering case and withdrew it in the US while PML-N government was trying to revive it. He questioned about the palaces owned by Asif Ali Zardari in Dubai, 60 million dollars stashed in Swiss accounts, Surrey Palace and a diamond necklace. He also taunted Aitzaz Ahsan for getting LPG quota and said some people got flats free of cost in a high-rise building located at the Constitution Avenue of the capital.

Nisar answered the remarks of Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh given in the Indian parliament after attending the Saarc interior ministers’ conference held in Islamabad that “Pakistan has not learnt a lesson”. “The Indian minister should have explained about the lesson,” he said. If he talked about peace and brotherhood, doors for dialogue were open, but if he wanted to give a lesson of Indian occupation of Indian Held Kashmir, then this nation would not accept its brutalities and occupation, he said, adding the struggle of Kashmiris could not be suppressed through violence. He said the Indian home minister should have also told Rajya Sabha who had invaded Pakistan in 1965, who disintegrated it into two parts in 1971 and who occupied Kashmir ignoring the UN resolutions.

Nisar said he represented Pakistan in the Saarc conference; the Indian minister should have responded to his speech in the same meeting and not in the Indian parliament. He also lashed out at PPP for his silence over the Indian minister’s remarks in the meeting.

He said the impression given by the media was wrong that he skipped the launch given in honour of the visiting home ministers. “It was a working launch and I had hosted a dinner where I was present,” he said. “Pakistan as a host country fulfilled all responsibilities, but India did not follow the etiquettes of a guest,” he remarked. “This is not self-respect that someone comes to your home and disgraces you,” he asserted. It was his duty to respond to the criticism of the Indian home minister against Pakistan, he averred.

Rejecting the criticism by India over the protests held in Islamabad against the visit of Singh, he said most of these people belonged to Kashmir and it was their democratic right. “The protest was civilised and within democratic norms,” he said and cited some incidents in which Indian protesters disgraced Pakistani artists and the high-ups of Pakistan Cricket Board.

Nisar rejected some reports about grouping within his party and said there were two small groups and he was monitoring them.

About the arrest of blacklisted US national Matthew Craig Barrett, he said a joint investigation team had absolved him of the charges of spying.

Nisar said in the light of findings of JIT blacklisted Matthew Barrett would be deported in next three days.