ISLAMABAD - The rift between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, once considered the most trusted confidant of the Sharif family, could not be ended despite all the efforts by some senior party leaders, including Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front revealed that soon after the announcement of Ch Nisar Ali Khan to hold a press conference to explain his position and all what had happened at the cabinet meeting which had triggered the current row, the common friends jumped into the fray to normalise the situation, but the Chaudhry from Chakri Rajgan was adamant to hold the press conference and respond to the venomous propaganda of his adversaries within the party.

Sources in the party said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, however, secured the pledge from his old buddy that he would not part ways with the party at any cost, but failed to convince him to remain part of the federal cabinet in case of the prime minister’s disqualification.

The sources further disclosed Ch Nisar Ali Khan would explain his position today in the face of distorted information leaked about his speech in the federal cabinet wherein he had grilled the flatterers who had led the PM to this position with their inadequate advice. The speech did not go well with some of the participants, especially those who were not part of the federal cabinet and were asked by him (Nisar) to leave the room.

The sources said Ch Nisar in his press conference was going to announce he would remain part of the federal cabinet by the time Nawaz Sharif remained the chief executive and in case he was hit by the Supreme Court judgment, he would quit as the federal minister, but would stay part of the parliament and loyal to the party.

They said the angry Nisar had shared his concerns with Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, especially his inability to hold the ministerial slot in case some junior party leader was brought in to the slot of prime minister in case of some adverse judgment against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case.

Nisar said he was dejected to know that after his fiery speech in the federal cabinet, some of his junior colleagues spoke against him when he left the meeting and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, instead of stopping them, let them criticise him, which he was not expecting from him with whom he had seen ups and downs in politics and braved the worst political crises.

He further said later some of the cabinet members even spoke to the media and gave distorted views of all what had happened in the meeting and doubted his loyalty to the party and leadership.

The sources said Ch Nisar told the Punjab chief minister that it would not possible for him if some junior party leader was brought in as the PM in case the Supreme Court judgment hit Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

He, however, assured the chief minister, one of his closest comrades, that he would not be leaving the party, but would not be in a position to play an active role against his conscience as he was crestfallen to see the way prime minister had belittled him in the eyes of those who had frequently changed loyalties.

Sources in the party said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was inclined to bring in Defence Minister Kh Asif as prime minister in case of any adverse verdict against him and this thing was also disturbing the federal interior minister who would quit the ministerial slot, but would not sit in the cabinet headed by Asif.

Ch Nisar Ali Khan is not on speaking terms with Kh Asif as their differences are deep-rooted, which started in the days when Nisar was leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and was in full command and control of the party’s affairs in the absence of the Sharifs who were in exile in Saudi Arabia.

The sources said several ministers, including Rana Tanvir and Saad Rafique, also met Nisar to convince him that it was not a right time for a veteran party leader like him to settle scores as the party needed him the most in this time of trial. The sources disclosed Ch Nisar had assured both the leaders that he would stay part of the party.