PML-N's self-dubbed "devil's advocate" Chaudhry Nisar Ali on Friday strongly denied incendiary statements he was recently reported to have issued against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
During a press conference held in Islamabad, Nisar said he was campaigning when news broke that he had allegedly remarked that "These Sharifs will not able to show their faces anywhere if I decide to open my mouth."
He claimed he had immediately rejected the statements and "most of the media outlets carried the rejection in their newspapers and on their TV channels".
"Nonetheless, there were a few, especially Urdu newspapers, that went so far as to write articles about these statements all the while also having carried the rejection in their newspapers," he claimed.
The disgruntled former PML-N leader further said that his inaugural address in Chakri as an independant candidate was treated similarly in that the contents of his speech were taken out of context "and all sorts of things were said".
"That speech is on record because the media was present that day," he said, adding that "before you [the media] paint my statements in all sorts of shady hues and misrepresent them with ludicrous angles, at least listen to the recording first to see what I said".
"When did I ever say such words? I had only said that I intended to explain the differences that had arose over the past year between me and Nawaz Sharif and my reason for standing as an independent candidate during my inaugural speech at Chakri," he said.
He acknowledged that he had in fact chosen not to elaborate on his remarks owing to Kulsoom Nawaz's illness. He further admitted that he did say that if things got to the point when it is calculated who owes whom, the scales would tip heavier on Nawaz's side.
However, Nisar dismissed all controversies saying that they were political statements, not personal ones.
"Many 'respected' channels said that I had claimed I would not say anything, but then contrary to my claim I had issued statements nonetheless," he said.
"A lot of fake news can be ignored, but at this time I am running an election campaign," he said exasperatedly, asserting that it is necessary that any small measure of false news being spread demands clarification for which he had decided to hold the press conference.
Chaudhry Nisar declared that he will be contesting from four different constituencies, promising that he will soon explain the reasons behind running a solo campaign along with the nature of differences between him and Nawaz.
"This is not my style ... It isn't how I do politics even when I'm dealing with political opponents," he maintained.
"It is your right to obtain information and to publish it, your duty, and I respect that. I absorb the fiercest of remarks issued against me. But these aren't normal times," he said appealing to the media outlets to thoroughly vet and verify statements attributed to him.
He further complained that in the unfortunate race to break news, it takes only one channel to run something defamatory against someone and then it gets snapped up by all others.