Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar on Sunday dismissed rumors that he had left politics, clarifying that he had declined to be part of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s cabinet over a “difference of opinion.”

Nisar, expressing gratitude to ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif and PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi “for trying to convince me not to resign”, said he had to announce his resignation from the cabinet “on principle” as he had a difference of opinion. He stated this while addressing a press conference on Sunday.

Nisar added that he would, however, not be leaving politics. “I speak in party meetings there are issues within the party, Those who leak what I’ve said in meetings are dishonest, in my opinion,” he said.

“I didn’t leak anything I said in the meetings,” he claimed, adding that he was someone who had “spent his entire life in one party and never even thought of the opportunities that came my way”.

“I said earlier that I don’t wish for any position in the government,” he stressed. “I even resigned from the Interior Ministry.”

“People who have been criticising the Interior Ministry do not appear to be aware that it does not have executive powers,” Nisar said.

“Publicly we the government must stand united,” he urged. “As a nation, we have a very short memory, so I will be recalling a few things to refresh peoples’ memory.”

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

“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 on board 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.

Putting all the rumours regarding his exclusion from the federal cabinet to rest, the ex-interior minister said he did not leak any news during the last 24 days.

“I urge all media persons to always acquire from me a clarification on any news that is being spread in my name.”