‘Backache’ forces Pakistan Interior Minister to postpone crucial presser

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Islamabad, July 23 (IANS) Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday postponed his much- anticipated news conference citing a severe backache, amid reports of a “patch-up” between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his upset yet powerful cabinet member.

The Interior Minister was expected to address a crucial presser and voice his reservations on policies of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership. However, he has denied reports that he would announce his resignation.

Chaudhry Nisar has been recommended complete bed rest, and the press conference has been rescheduled for Monday at 5 p.m., his spokesperson said, according to Dawn.

Requesting the media to stop unnecessary speculations on the matter, the statement said the postponement of the Interior Minister’s presser was caused by his ill health.

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Earlier, TV channels had reported that federal ministers Saad Rafiq, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Rana Tanvir Hussain met Chaudhry Nisar on Saturday to persuade him to cancel his press conference where, the channels claimed, he would announce an end to his 35-year association with Prime Minister Sharif.

This was the only news report about him in recent days that was not rebutted by the interior ministry.

Sources said that Prime Minister Sharif was not happy that the Interior Minister was not at the forefront in dealing with the Panama Papers trial, that has put Sharif’s place in jeoprady.

While many members of the cabinet issued vociferous statements against the Joint Investigation Team constituted in the Panama Papers case and some even indirectly uttered remarks against the judiciary, Chaudhry Nisar was not among the crowd as he chose to remain silent on the issue at the height of the controversy, Dawn reported.

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