Eyebrows were raised Thursday after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali said there was no major gulf in relations between the civilian government and the military on issues of corruption and the Punjab operation.
The statement was significant as it seemed to imply that there were indeed points of difference between the civilian and the military leadership of the country.
“The perception is not correct that there is a major gulf between prime minister and army chief,” the interior minister, said and added, “The two haven’t met recently as you are aware Prime Minister Sharif hasn’t been well,” Nisar said while talking to a private news channel.
“Insha’Allah (God willing), such meetings will resume once again,” he said.
‘I WAS INFORMED OF MILITARY OPERATION’:
To a question about General Raheel Sharif’s public statements on corruption, Nisar said that he won’t interpret the army chief’s remarks.
Nisar said that he was taken into confidence by the military leadership before launching an operation in Punjab.
“The operation was launched after we got overnight intelligence reports about terrorists in Punjab. I was informed. Yes, there was some communication gap with the Punjab government.”
READY TO DISCUSS TORS:
The interior minister said that the government is ready to sit with the opposition parties to develop a consensus on the Terms of Reference (TORs) for a transparent probe into Panama Papers.
“This issue cannot be resolved through rallies or speeches. There has to be a forum to determine truth behind allegations of offshore companies,” he said.
He said that he had accepted a demand from PTI Chairman Imran on an investigation by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), but the PTI leader backtracked.
“The issue has been politicised and if the FIA launches an inquiry, it will not be accepted by the opposition,” he maintained.
“Thos who leaked Panama Papers clearly said these were mere allegations. It was not yet established that offshore companies were bought through illegal means,” he said.
The enquiry, he alleged, was delayed by the opposition as they were in confusion.
He said the Sharif family never concealed owing the Mayfair apartment.
“In fact, the prime minister himself lived there and used to conduct meetings there,” he said.
NISAR WANTS JUDICIAL ENQUIRY INTO MQM LEADER’S DEATH IN RANGERS’ CUSTODY:
Responding to a question about the death of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker Aftab Ahmed in Rangers’ custody, Nisar proposed the Sindh government order a judicial enquiry.
“The provincial government can order an inquiry. The army chief and Rangers have also ordered enquiries. But to make it meaningful, the Sindh government should set up a judicial commission,” he said.