LAHORE: Former interior minister and estranged PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has announced that he could not take oath as a member of the Punjab Assembly due to the absence of the speaker and the deputy speaker.
While addressing a press conference on Monday, Chaudhry Nisar said, “The day of taking the oath was scheduled however, today it was said that oath can’t be administered without the speaker and deputy speaker. The estranged PML-N leader said he would solicit legal advice and “it is possible that we go to the court tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.”
Nisar stressed that he wasn’t part of any political conspiracies, adding that he had informed the provincial legislature in writing earlier about his intention to take the oath and also sent a copy to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The former interior minister said that his decision to take the oath was based on political development.
The government was making efforts to bring a “self-styled ordinance despite rules relating to the election and disqualification of members from the NA, provincial legislatures and the Senate being present in the Constitution, he alleged.
“They are in the effort to bring an ordinance in which a ground for disqualification is added,” he said, adding that he had no reservation on disqualification in accordance with the law but did have reservations if it was through “an ordinance in the darkness of night.”
Khan said if that had happened then “clearly I would not have contested the election myself, a representative of mine would have so they would have said: ‘On one hand he had doubts on the system but he is contesting the election the next time so he has accepted its legitimacy.'”
Khan responded a question said: “Imran Khan has many other friends, he doesn’t need my advice.” There was the need for the ruling party to heed all political points of view and there was a great need today to unite the nation, not divide it, he added.
Earlier, on Sunday, in a statement, Nisar said that he had decided to take the oath approximately three and half years after winning the PA-10 seat so as to manage the political position in his constituency.
He added that stepping down as a legislator and then contesting by-polls would not have been a rational decision. The former interior minister also said boycotting the poll and leaving the field open for rivals would be a bigger mistake, particularly when the general polls will be taking place after two and a half years.
Nisar further said that he was also attentive to the jeopardy of the spread of coronavirus during poll campaigns and mass gatherings in case of him stepping down as a policymaker and the consequent scheduling of a by-election.
Nisar, though, clarified that he had not changed his stance and would neither take salary nor benefit himself of the perks. Chaudhry Nisar had contested the 2018 general polls from two national and two provincial assemblies as an independent candidate after developing differences with the PML-N.
However, Nisar only managed to win the provincial assembly seat of PP-10 Rawalpindi; he had not taken the oath, saying it would be complete duplicity if he took the oath of the provincial assembly’s seat.
The rift between the Sharifs and Nisar widened when the latter in 2018 said he would not beg the PML-N’s parliamentary committee for an election ticket. He also criticised the PML-N for having become a “family party”, which he said made it impossible for him to stay in it.