Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar on Wednesday took oath as the member of Punjab Assembly after a delay of two years and ten months.
The lawmaker was unable to take an oath as a member of the assembly on Monday due to the “absence of the speaker and deputy speaker.”
The former interior minister left the assembly soon after acting speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari administered him the oath and then had a casual conversation with journalists.
“I will visit Lahore soon … where I will speak to the journalists in detail,” Nisar said, adding that he was not going to join any political party.
Nisar had been elected from Punjab Assembly’s constituency PP-10 in the 2018 general elections as an independent candidate. However, the former interior minister refrained from taking oath then, as he alleged that rigging cost him the National Assembly’s NA-59 seat.
Speaking to the media after he was unable to take the oath, he had said the day for his oath-taking was fixed but he was later informed that swearing-in was not possible in the absence of the speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly.
“I had decided to take oath after a political development took place. The government plans to introduce an ordinance that eyes disqualification of members; however, the qualification and disqualification of members are included in the Constitution of Pakistan,” he had said.
He said that he had a stance from the beginning which he still adheres to, adding that he is not part of any political game.
“Imran Khan should tone down [his aggressiveness] towards the Opposition. The government should take into account all political viewpoints as this country needs increased understanding. This nation needs to unite, not divide,” he said.
Nisar also said that news about his meeting with Shahbaz Sharif is only based on speculations.
Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was the acting governor in the absence of Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and is not attending the assembly sessions.
Similarly, according to sources, Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari was not attending either due to personal engagements.
After Nisar’s announcement, several conspiracy theories had started doing the rounds in print and social media that ‘someone’ wanted to give Nisar a bigger role and that’s why he was taking the oath after almost 2.5 years, the sources said.
The theory is: Nisar will take oath as an independent candidate and may later join PTI and replace Usman Buzdar.
Sources said this might be a hurdle race for Nisar. He would first have to make himself acceptable as the CM in the PTI and then deal with Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who also wants to control the province.
Nisar, who used to be one of the most influential leaders in the PML-N, contested the 2018 elections as an independent candidate from two national and two provincial assembly seats after developing differences with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.