Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar will address an important press conference on Sunday at 5pm, his Twitter handle said on Friday.

The interior minister was also absent from Friday's urgent meeting of PML-N members called by the premier himself.

A spokesman for the ministry says Nisar has been avoiding party meetings due to health problems. “I am not sure for how many days he would not be assuming his duties,” the spokesperson had said days ago.

Contrary to the spokesman's remarks, however, there are media reports which suggest Nisar has developed differences with the ruling party. Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb even dismissed reports the minister had decided to resign.

In the past, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had left his official work citing bad health and had stayed in London for many weeks following his differences with the party when he was the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly during the last PPP government.

The rifts between Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, one of the close aides to the prime minister in the past and senior leader of the PML-N, and some other cabinet members of the ruling party came into the open last Saturday.

On Saturday night, Nisar issued a strong-worded rebuttal to the remarks of Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal – who had criticised his colleague in a private TV channel programme.

“The government minister [Ahsan] should avoid giving wrong and irrational statements over the speech of [the] interior minister made in [Thursday’s] cabinet meeting,” a spokesperson of the minister had said.

“Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan never made the statement in the cabinet meeting, which is being attributed to him by the minister,” said spokesperson Aslam Shahid.

Nisar, in the cabinet meeting had advised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif against getting swayed by the opinion of the appeasers and avoid a clash with other state institutions including the judiciary and the military on the Panama Papers issue.

He had clarified his position over the questions being raised on his loyalty within the party and said that his party had mishandled the Panama Papers case.

But the government denied the reports that the interior minister had any disagreement with the party leadership and the majority of his colleagues over tackling the crisis.

Ahsan Iqbal, while talking to a TV programme over the rift within the government ranks, said that Thursday’s cabinet meeting fully showed solidarity with the prime minister.

“The meeting was unanimous in its view that the joint investigation team (JIT) had not done justice from its formation to conclusion and the government should defend itself before the SC,” he said.

The planning minister claimed that the cabinet and the parliamentary party of the PML-N were united and understood that the investigation was a political agenda and had no purpose to hold any accountability.

About the speech of the interior minister in the cabinet meeting, Ahsan said that everyone in the party had his own views but “no one is breaking from the party line or the prime minister”.

But then came the critical comment, which forced Nisar to issue the warning.

In a not-so-veiled reference to Nisar’s behaviour, Ahsan Iqbal said that when there was a turf war going on, one should see the benefit of the party and close ranks.

“When a conspiracy is being hatched against PM, my character would be identified that either I come out with some complaint sheet or stand by him - keeping in view his previous favours,” he said.

During the past few days, Nisar had issued at least four clarifications-cum-rebuttals against media reports about his movements and interactions - following the submission of the JIT report before the Supreme Court.

Nisar like his other cabinet colleagues did not come in the open to defend Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family before and after the submission of the damning JIT report that alleged the Sharif family of having offshore wealth beyond their known sources of income.