TAXILA: Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has warned that he will make public the Dawn leaks report if the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) does not call a meeting of the Central Executive Committee meeting on the issue and statements being made against him by Pervaiz Rashid.
“Dawn leaks in not only a PML-N issue but a matter of sensitive nature,” Nisar said during a news conference held here on Saturday.
The story published in Dawn Newspaper in 2016 stirred a major controversy as it alleged that a confrontation had taken place between the civilian government and military during a National Security Committee meeting held in October that year.
The government termed the story fabricated while the Army’s top brass expressed serious concern over the “feeding of a false and fabricated story of an important security meeting.”
Pervaiz Rashid was removed from the post of information minister, while on the recommendations of an inquiry team, the portfolio of Tariq Fatemi was withdrawn and Rao Tehsin Ali, the principal information officer at the Information Ministry would be sanctioned.
“There are several misconceptions on this issue [Dawn leaks]. These misconceptions were heightened following statements made by this individual [Rashid] that I had him removed. All I can say at this point is that if I had him removed, why did a committee constituted by the prime minister not reinstate him,” Nisar said, adding that he did not have Rao Tehsin removed nor did his report mention Tehsin or Fatemi. “Who removed them?”
According to Nisar, a person [Rashid] was making statements after 1.25 years which had made it important to clarify the Dawn leaks issue.
“My first option is to resolve this within the party, but if this is not possible, I have the option to make this public,” Nisar asserted.
Nisar added that he had written a letter to Nawaz Sharif asking for a CEC meeting to be called where he would brief the party about Dawn leaks and statements made by Pervaiz Rashid could be discussed.
The former interior minister said the party should also listen to the stance of Rashid who he referred to as a person who had joined the PML-N in the 1990s. “This person is publically saying he wants to remove me from the party. His stance should be heard by the party so a decision can be taken over it.”
Cannot work under Maryam Nawaz
Responding to a question, the former interior minister said during an interview with Saleem Safi the he was asked if he could work under Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif and he said that he could, when he was asked if he could work under Maryam Nawaz Sharif, he said no he could not, and for that reason he side-lined himself.
“I can work under people who are my seniors not under those junior to me,” Nisar stressed. The former minister added that he wasn’t a political orphan that he would give in to addressing a junior as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’.
However, Nisar made it very clear, that there was no chance of him becoming a party to any forward block.
After multiple questions on the relationship and position of Maryam Nawaz Sharif, in a jovial manner, Nisar said he will have a bill posted behind him with instructions that no questions regarding Maryam Nawaz may be asked.
On the matter of PML-N leaders criticizing the judiciary, Nisar said he had never advised the party not give a reaction to the court’s decision but had always condemned personal attacks on judges.
Nisar said along with him, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had also stressed non-confrontation with the judiciary.
“The party is facing difficulties, and the solution is discussion and more discussions,” advised the former interior minister.
Nisar added that matters within the party were subject to conflict due to the party’s narrative. “It is said that there should be one narrative. But please, tell me, what is the narrative of the PML-N,” questioned Nisar.
The PML-N stalwart elaborated that both the Sharif brothers have reiterated that there should be no clash with institutions.
“You [Nawaz] should present your stance, I have not asked anyone to stay quiet. If it is felt that that unjust treatment has been meted out, then it should be spoken about but do realise that in the end, decisions will be made in court.”
‘Hope MQM will resolve issues’
Nisar, during the press conference, also commented on the present strife within MQM-P and hoped that the party will be able to resolve its issues.
“I hope MQM will handle its issues.”
He hoped that the Urdu-speaking community would have clear options in the upcoming polls.