Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday postponed his much-awaited press conference after a suspected terror attack in Lahore killed at least 25.
The interior minister had already postponed his Sunday press conference once previously, in which he was expected to address rumours regarding a reported conflict with the PML-N leadership.
Explaining the delay, Nisar said, "I have been ill, but I would rather go back [again] today than discuss politics when a tragedy has hit the country."
He expressed grief over the loss of lives and offered his condolences to the families of the deceased and injured.
"I was bedridden for the past two days and saw a number of speculations in the media about my condition. I would like for you all to keep those at bay and focus on the matter at hand — the Lahore blast."
Earlier, TV channels had reported that federal ministers Saad Rafiq, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Rana Tanvir Hussain had met Chaudhry Nisar on Saturday to persuade him to cancel his press conference where, the channels claimed, he had planned to announce an end to his 35-year association with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
This was the only news report about him in recent days that was not rebutted by the interior ministry at the time.
Nisar was repeatedly absent from meetings between the PML-N leadership to discuss the party's strategy following the joint investigation team's (JIT) submission of a report of its probe of PM Sharif and his family's foreign business dealings.
The interior minister had attended a meeting of the federal cabinet on July 13 during which members of the cabinet reposed confidence in the PM’s leadership, but skipped two important meetings of the PML-N after that.
While many members of the cabinet kept on issuing vociferous statements against the JIT constituted in the Panama Papers case and some even indirectly uttered remarks against the judiciary, Nisar chose to remain silent on the issue even at the height of the controversy.