ISLAMABAD - Admitting to having differences with party policies, which prevented him from rejoining the federal cabinet, the former interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, stopped short of disclosing them as he said the PML-N was passing through a crucial time.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday at the Punjab House, the former interior minister was expected to come up with some startling disclosures about his differences with the party but he confined himself to explaining the performance of his interior ministry over the past over four-year period.

Nisar, however, expressed his gratitude to both Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former premier Nawaz Sharif for keep on insisting and forcing him to join the federal cabinet, which he declined on “difference of opinion” with the party leadership on some key policy matters.

He said that he had announced much earlier that he would remain in the party but would not accept any portfolio or position in the government.

Nisar regretted that certain elements within the party had leaked the internal party meetings information to the media, which according to him was sheer dishonesty as such leaks led to generation of controversy and rumours about the party and its leadership.

He said that he used to express his mind and views on PML-N policies in the party meetings and had opposed on certain points in the federal cabinet meeting and later in the central working committee meeting but part of his views were leaked to the media.

To a question about Dawn leaks controversy, Nisar said that the government had decided to hold inquiry into the matter and it was again up to the government to make public the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) or not.

He, however, said personally he wanted to see the government make the report public.

To a question, Nisar said that the decision of engaging Taliban into negotiation was taken in consultation with the military leadership of the country, and both the then DG ISI and the Chief of Army Staff were onboard.

Some political stakeholders including the ANP, the PPP and MQM were not in favour of the negotiation with Taliban.

He further said that he went to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and asked him to announce Central Internal Security Policy in consultation with all the stakeholders.

Nisar presented the performance of his ministry for past over four years when he was holding the portfolio so that people could judge for themselves his performance.

He said that Ministry of Interior like many other ministries was policy giving forum and the implementation on the policies in maintenance of law and order situation mainly rested with the provinces.

Pakistan is one of the few countries where the trend of terrorism has significantly reduced, adding that today the country has no terrorist network.

“A major change has come in the country…in 2013, everyday there used to be three to four attacks,” he said.

Nisar said that despite facing pressure, he cancelled Pakistani passports of 32,000 foreigners, cancelled more than 0.2 million prohibited bore licenses and cancelled CNICs of various individuals as part of fight against terrorism.

He complained that the Interior Ministry would be held responsible for anything that would happen in the country, including any security situation in the provinces, while everyone was ready to get credit in case of a positive event.

The former minister said that he always tried to take along all the stakeholders, adding that he would not praise himself or take any extra credit.

The interior ministry itself does not have any executive authority, he said, adding that law enforcement was the sole responsibility of the provinces.

“In 2013, when four or five blasts were occurring on a daily basis, the news was not that there haven’t been any blasts, but that there were fewer blasts that day,” he said.

“After the 2014 airport attack, the decision to start a military operation was made. The dialogue process, despite some people’s reservations, was mutual. The military operation, despite reservations of some religious parties was mutual too. Today Pakistan is among those countries where terrorism has decreased,” he said.

The Pak-Afghan border, which a great deal of people crossed illegally, “has now been completely secured so no one can cross it without legal documentation.”

Defending his performance during his tenure, Nisar said he made attempts to take all stakeholders onboard but his ministry was criticised for “other’s negligence”, clarifying that the interior ministry did not possess the executive authority but it was only responsible for policy-making.