'The Nawaz-Nisar journey isn't over yet'

Analysts weigh in on Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar's tell-all presser, in which he announced his exit from politics.
Published July 27, 2017

Analysts and politicians were quick to react to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's dramatic press conference, during which he effectively announced an exit from politics.

Nisar on Thursday said he would resign from his ministry and the National Assembly on the day the Supreme Court announces the Panamagate verdict — "be it for the party or against it."

"My heart is no longer in politics," he said.

Here's how analysts are viewing the announcement:

'Close adviser to PM creating rift'

Analyst Hamid Mir

"It is incorrect to say that Chaudhry Nisar is ending his political journey with Nawaz Sharif. Whatever the Supreme Court's decision is, he said he would stand by Nawaz.

He seemed to want to speak about certain people that he believes have created a rift between him and Nawaz. He has no problem with Nawaz Sharif... But is concerned about someone who is close to the prime minister.

He did not seem to want to name this person, but they appear to be quite powerful.

It is not a minister, but definitely some very influential person in the PM's life... I am using the word 'minister' here very intentionally. He spoke about how he has been excluded from consultative meetings over the past 1.5 months. The person who makes decisions about who attends these meetings ─ some bureaucrat or an unelected adviser who also sits in these cabinet meetings... Try to understand where I'm getting at.

Even if Nisar leaves the Interior Ministry and his membership of the National Assembly, he will remain with Nawaz Sharif and stay in the party, and continue to make such disclosures.

According to Nisar, some plan has been hatched against Pakistan's sovereignty by some three to four people, two of who may be military men and two who may be civilians.

This is very big information and he has tried to provide some indication of this."

'Party will reach out to Nisar'

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah

"Chaudhry Nisar has delayed his decision until the Panamagate verdict.

The party will definitely try to reach out to him and will present a review petition to him, and it will be difficult for him to reject it ─ especially after he has expressed so much love and loyalty for the party.

I’m sure the reason he is so disheartened is the fact that he was excluded from party meetings.

I attended one meeting, and he was present then and participated as well. His advice was heeded by the prime minister.

Nawaz Sharif will not let him go. Chaudhry Nisar is an asset to the party, as well as to Pakistan's politics. If he leaves politics, then the only people who will remain are mudslingers like Sheikh Rashid and Imran Khan."

'If Nawaz goes, Nisar goes'

AML's Sheikh Rashid

"I have been saying from day one that Chaudhry Nisar will not leave Nawaz Sharif. If Nawaz Sharif goes, a new cabinet will be formed, and Nisar will naturally also have to go."

'Nisar has been pushed out'

Journalist Saleem Safi

"I think Chaudhry Nisar, as an independent party, made it clear that he will not remain in the party this way.

He has put a damper on the hopes of other political parties and made it clear that he will not be part of a conspiracy against Nawaz Sharif.

But I'm sad about two things:

First, that Nisar's taking a step back means that this person who is filling Nawaz's ears has been successful in their attempts at pushing Nisar away.

And second, that despite Nisar's advice, the prime minister is too far gone listening to this person's advice to correct himself and patch things up with Nisar. I fear the PM will move closer to this person and Nisar will move even further away from him."

'Nisar is saying PML-N is hijacked'

PPP's Sherry Rehman

"Nisar looks cross and disappointed.

He is giving a message through the timing [of his announcement] as well. It is obvious that he won’t join another party. It is obvious that Nawaz Sharif is surrounded by boot-lickers who have encased him in a bubble.

Chaudhry Nisar kept saying he was not invited to party meetings.

Normally, when ministers leave their parties, they take away a lot of secrets because they have taken an oath.

Chaudhry Nisar has always held a senior position in the party.

The boot-lickers have damaged Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N, and Nisar is actually saying that the party has been hijacked.

A leader is as good as the advice he takes."

'What will Nisar decide once his friends pacify him?'

PTI's Imran Ismail

"He says he’ll resign, but once his friends pacify him, what decision will he take then?

He thinks Nawaz Sharif is surrounded by a bunch of boot-lickers. He hasn't said he wishes to resign because the country is in trouble, but because there is turmoil in the party, according to him.

He has not said anything about the challenges the country is facing.

This is a tough time for the PML-N, with people like Daniyal Aziz trying to rise in the party ranks. It will be hard for people like Chaudhry Nisar to remain in the party in such a situation.

He may criticise others for boarding other trains, but he, himself, has gotten off a train he was on for 33 years."