ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali insisted that that there was no major gulf between civilian government and military on issues of corruption and Punjab operation.
“This perception is not correct that there is a major gulf between Prime Minister and army chief. The two haven’t met recently as you are aware Prime Minister Sharif hasn’t been well,” Nisar said in an exclusive interview with a private television channel Thursday.
“Insha’Allah (God willing), such meetings will resume once again,” he said.
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 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.”
The interior minister said that government was ready to sit with the opposition parties to develop consensus on terms of reference (TOR) for a transparent probe into Panama papers.
“This issue (Panama) 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 FIA’s inquiry, but he then backtracked. “The issue has been politicized and if FIA launches an inquiry, it will not be accepted by the opposition,” he maintained.
“Those who leaked Panama papers clearly said that these were mere allegations. It was not yet established that offshore companies were bought through illegal means,” he said.
The inquiry, he alleged, was delayed by the opposition duo to their confusion. He said that Sharif family never hid owing Mayfair Apartment. In fact PM himself lived there and used to conduct meetings there.
Responding to a query about the custodial death of MQM worker Aftab Ahmed, Nisar proposed the Sindh government order a judicial inquiry.
“The provincial government can order an inquiry. Army chief and Rangers have also ordered inquiries. But to make it meaningful, the Sindh government should set up a judicial commission,” he said.
About Karachi operation, he said that both Rangers and MQM have totally opposite stance.
The Karachi operation, despite so many difficulties, continued in a right direction, but there were some institutional and operational challenges in recent months, he added. NNI