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TAXILA: Estranged PML-N stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has ruled out the formation of his own faction in the PML-N, or the ‘jeep’ group.

Talking to mediapersons at the Kohistan Secretariat on Wednesday, he clarified the situation as some PML-N ticket holders in south Punjab returned their tickets and announced to contest the elections independently with the election symbol of a jeep, which was also allotted to Chaudhry Nisar.

He also explained that his application for an election symbol was submitted just an hour before the deadline in order to avoid opponents applying for similar symbols which could confuse voters.

Former interior minister vows to tell nation of his issues with ex-premier Nawaz Sharif after declaration of Avenfield verdict on July 6

Saying there is “discomfort” in the party over a variety of issues, especially the issuance of tickets on seats reserved for women, he denied rumours of the formation of his own group within the party.

He said he will address the nation through the media about his differences with former party leader Nawaz Sharif after the court announces its verdict in the Avenfield reference on Friday.

The former interior minister wondered which of his statements had hurt the former prime minister.

“If [he] was hurt by my comments against his confrontation of institutions, then tell me if I was wrong,” he said.

Chaudhry Nisar claimed that his only intention was to advise Nawaz Sharif against a collision with institutions so that he could avoid making more enemies as he was already in trouble.

He said he has always been in favour of avoiding tension with institutions.

He denied allegations made against him by his political rival Ghulam Sarwar Khan that he is using his security detail to intimidate voters and said that he is using a security detail as per the protocol for a former interior minister.

He said that he had been interior minister during a sensitive time when there was a war against terrorism and that therefore, he is facing threats from local elements as well as international spy agencies.

Asked about the arrest of his PML-N rival in NA-59 Qamarul Islam Raja, the former interior minister said: “I was the first to condemn his arrest.”

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2018