Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar, who had maintained close ties to the ruling party’s high command until his falling out last year, said on Saturday that there should be on doubt about whether he is still a member of the PML-N.
Addressing a press conference in Taxila, he said he does not divulge his reservations with the party's policies in public, but added in the same breath that the time to publicly shed light on the issues straining his relationship with the PML-N "has come very close".
Asked whether he would contest the upcoming general elections on a PML-N ticket or not, Nisar said this would become clear by May.
The ex-interior minister said he had been "handling matters" developing over the past few months silently and had decided to stay away from the new cabinet.
"The time has come to explain many things, and you won't have to wait much longer on this," he told reporters.
Asked whether his narrative would be different than that of the PML-N, Nisar asked: "What is the PML-N's narrative?"
The senior PML-N leader said he has a stance, not a narrative, which is that "we should not clash with the judiciary and the armed forces of Pakistan."
In a reference to the Supreme Court's Panama Papers verdict, which had led to Nawaz Sharif's disqualification last year, Nisar said whatever relief the party was seeking regarding the judgment could only come from the apex court.
"My stance is that we should compete with our political opponents, not fight with the institutions," he said, adding that this would be beneficial for Sharif as well as the party.
The former interior minister, who has been at odds with PML-N's 'supreme leader' Nawaz Sharif over the latter’s anti-judiciary and anti-establishment tirade, opted not to join the current cabinet of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court.
Since then, reports about the PML-N’s internal rifts have often surfaced, with Nisar going public against his party’s line on a few occasions. Of late, the senior politician has been busy meeting voters and union council chairmen in his constituency in a bid to consolidate chances of his victory in the next elections.