BY MIAN ABRAR
Nisar, Ahsan spat comes to the fore during a TV talk show.
A division within the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) was exposed on Saturday with a verbal brawl on media between the key ministers of the ruling party.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Ahsan Iqbal, both the federal ministers, are being considered potential candidates as a stop-gap arrangement for the slot of the prime minister in case Nawaz Sharif steps down or is disqualified by the Supreme Court in Panama Papers case.
Intense Fighting Between Ch Nisar and Nawaz... by cutefatima003 It was Ahsan Iqbal who took a jibe at Chaudhry Nisar during a TV talk show suggesting that one, in hard times, must not make an issue if the proposal he floats were not taken well with the party leadership. “In tough times, one must not make it an issue if the party chief doesn’t take his proposal,” he said.
“When there’s a tough call, you need to take things positively and close your ranks and stand by the party leader in tough times. This is called character,” he said. Ahsan did not stop here. He went on to say that at a time when a conspiracy was being hatched against the prime minister, and while the Panama case was being carried under a conspiracy, character of any party leader would be that he should start complaining that his advice had not been taken.
He said that the character would be determined by the fact that he should cater to the qualities of the leader and stand behind his leader. “For me, this act is called character. Once you get out of the crisis, we should try to overcome the faults and mistakes of the party leadership,” he added. During the talk show, Ahsan time and again claimed that a conspiracy was being hatched to destabilise the elected government to deprive it of its successes including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “I strongly believe that an international conspiracy is being hatched with local players to overthrow the democratic system,” said the minister who was asked by the talk show host how he could level such a serious charge without any evidence.
The host reminded the minister that it was a consistent narrative being built by the ruling party that puppets like Imran Khan were being used to destabilise the federal government and that the actual mastermind of the conspiracy were behind the curtains. The host asked the minister that perhaps the ruling party was either referring to the military establishment for hatching the conspiracy against the democratic setup which was a grave allegation which needed evidence to support the claim.
The statement of Ahsan Iqbal were immediately rebuffed by interior minister’s spokesman Mohammad Aslam Shahid who stated that the interior minister had strongly reacted to the statement of Ahsan Iqbal in the TV talk show. “The minister should desist from making a false and incorrect statement about the speech made during the cabinet meeting by the interior minister,” he said.
“The interior minister never stated what Ahsan Iqbal time and again is repeating and he is attributing it to him (Nisar). It is unfortunate to note that these statements are coming from such ministers who have brought the government to this crisis situation,” the spokesman said.
It is pertinent to mention here that during the recent meeting of the federal cabinet, the interior minister had told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he was being misled by a coterie of sycophants whose faulty advice had led the premier to a closed tunnel.
According to media reports, Chaudhry Nisar had also complained to the prime minister that his advice was never sought over the issue and now when the prime minister was seeking an advice when he had found himself in a closed tunnel.
Moreover, the interior minister and Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had also advised the prime minister to shun blame game against the military establishment and the judiciary and rather than blaming both the state institutions for the Panama fiasco, the prime minister should cater to improving his legal defence.
But it seems that the advice of the interior minister and the Punjab chief minister has fallen on deaf ears as Ahsan Iqbal again stated that the Panama case was a part of a conspiracy against the prime minister and the federal government.