TAXILA: In an effort to scotch rumours regarding a split within the ruling party, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday categorically stated that no ‘forward bloc’ was being formed within the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Addressing a press conference at the Kohistan secretariat in his traditional stronghold of Taxila, the senior PML-N leader rejected reports of a rift within the party and said that he was not planning to leave the party either.

Accompanied by Taxila PML-N MPA Umer Farooq and Rawalpindi PML-N district leader Sheikh Zee­shan Saeed, the former minister had several words of advice for party chief Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif.

Chaudhry Nisar advised the former prime minister to fight his case in courts instead of locking horns with the judiciary, saying that any confrontation between state institutions was not good for the future of the country, democracy and Mr Sharif himself.

“There should be no confrontation with the judiciary. We should appear before the courts and argue our case with dedication. If we do not get justice from one court, we will surely get it from another,” the mercurial lawmaker said.

In democratic and civilised societies, he said, decisions were always made by the courts. “In my opinion, we should fight our case before the courts with full force without any confrontation. This is not right for Nawaz Sharif, the party, the institutions or the country itself,” he said.

in reply to a question about Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s invitation to the US for joint action against terrorist groups, Chaudhry Nisar said that no sovereign country could allow a joint operation within its borders, nor could it make such a proposal.

Expressing serious concern over the foreign minister’s statement, he said the army was sufficiently capable of conducting operations against terrorists, adding that Pakistan was a functioning democracy that had faith in the capabilities of its armed forces and intelligence agencies.

He warned that inviting another power to conduct an operation in the country was akin to making a mockery of the state. “If there is such a proposal, a similar operation should also be carried out in Afghanistan,” he declared.

The PML-N leader said that if others suspected that terrorists or militant groups existed in Pakistan, “we have proof that terrorists operate in Afghanistan in broad daylight”.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2017

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