ISLAMABAD: Disgruntled PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan came down hard on Maryam Nawaz, stating that her 'sharp tongue' is pushing the party towards a dead end.
Nisar, who has been associated with the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) for over three decades, was reacting to earlier statements by party supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam.
In an informal conversation with journalists outside an accountability court on Tuesday, Nawaz had said that getting disappointed was not an option if there were no expectations attached to people.
It is the way of the world to move on; one should do good and forget about it, Nawaz had told reporters. Maryam, who was accompanying her father, had also recited a stanza stating that virtuous people don't forget kindness but same is not the case with 'bad people'.
"I have been forced to give a response to the terms used and poetry recited by Mian Nawaz Sharif yesterday and his daughter's statement," Nisar said in a statement released on Thursday evening.
"Mian sahib, a man can do no favours for mankind, only God can," he said. "If you [Nawaz] were kind to people, many people must have also been kind to you. You should be aware of that and be grateful for it."
The PML-N leader said he had exercised a lot of patience and tolerance in the situations and circumstances that had arisen in the past year and tried not to give any reaction that may have harmed the party.
"But I say this with a heavy heart that I have been targetted in various ways in the past eight to ten months from a certain direction."
"When nothing else worked, some favoured journalists were given pre-planned questions, the answers to which were apparent insults directed at me," wrote Nisar.
"The evident pawn [of these attacks] was a person who neither has an ideological nor political relationship with the party," he said. "But a puppet never dances on its own."
Discussing a change in his political pursuits, Nisar said that he had parted ways with national politics to a large extent in order to limit himself to his constituency's politics. Of late, he has increased efforts to campaign within his constituency in a bid to consolidate chances of his victory in the next elections.
The former interior minister, in his statement, also said that he still respects the [Sharif] family to this day. He quoted a verse from a poem, the gist of which is that a person who can listen may also speak but respect for someone may be the only thing restraining them from doing so.
Nisar's words, however, were accompanied by a warning.
"I have imposed a restriction on myself only for today's statement," he wrote. "If puppets and pawns continue to level allegations against me, I reserve the right to issue a detailed clarification."
The estranged party leader's statement comes just days after he said at a press conference in Taxila that the time to publicly shed light on the issues straining his relationship with the PML-N had come very close.
Rumours of a rift between Nisar and Nawaz have been rife after the former took an opposing stance on the party's political strategy following the Supreme Court's July 28 verdict that ousted Nawaz from holding public office. Until recently, the two leaders have refrained from discussing the changing dynamics of their relationship with the media.
Nisar had opted out of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's cabinet. Frequent reports of rifts within the party have surfaced since after Nisar's decision, with the former minister often going against his party’s stance. APP/AFP