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April 21, 2018

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Nisar ready to mend fences with PML-N

ISLAMABAD: Following his meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has given a conditional nod to put aside his reservations and differences with the ruling party, sources said.

Shahbaz reached through a special plane from Lahore to Islamabad on Thursday, where he held a two-hour-long meeting with the disgruntled party leader at the Punjab House.

This was the fifth meeting between Nisar and Shahbaz in over the past a couple of weeks. The last meeting of the two took place on Sunday where, according to sources, the two discussed various party issues, including a strategy for the upcoming general elections and ways to strengthen the party.

Sources privy to the entire development told Geo News that Nisar had been awaiting the Punjab chief minister, a friend. The leaders held a discussion for two hours, after which Shahbaz immediately returned to Lahore.

Nisar has been ready to forget his differences and reservations with the party, sources said, but he has put forth a condition that the PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif should also come and meet him along with Shahbaz Sharif.

Nisar reportedly told Shahbaz that if Nawaz comes to meet him, he would be ready to move forth with the party and they could also decide the way forward. The rift between Nisar, a veteran party leader from Rawalpindi, and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has been brewing since July last year following Nawaz's disqualification and subsequent public offensive against his ouster.

On Saturday, Nisar, in a statement, said it seems that the country's biggest problem is whether he gets a party ticket for the upcoming elections or not. Nisar's statement came after Nawaz's daughter Maryam at a rally criticised people “not hopeful of getting tickets from the PML-N” wanting to join the rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Maryam was likely responding to reports that Nisar may be joining the PTI. Earlier, Nisar had said he would not become part of any decision that makes Maryam the party's leader.

Furthermore, in February it was reported that Nawaz had parted ways with his longtime associate Nisar and decided to not extend an invitation to him for the Central Working Committee session.

Nisar has also in the past publicly expressed reservations with senior PML-N leadership. He also refused to be part of a new cabinet after Nawaz — the then PML-N president — was disqualified as prime minister.

Nisar, at various occasions, advised Nawaz not to adopt a confrontational approach following his disqualification but the PML-N supremo ignored the advice and indirectly criticised Nisar as well.

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