Combo shows Ch Nisar Ali Khan (L), former army chief Raheel Sharif (C) and ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif (R).
Former interior minister and veteran politician Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has strongly refuted the claim by former army chief General (R) Raheel Sharif that Nisar along with Shahbaz Sharif had offered an extension to the-then COAS during the last PML-N government.
“It is even more ludicrous to assert that we also proposed the position of field marshal,” said Khan, who had left the PML-N because of his differences with the party’s top leadership before the 2018 general elections.
Nisar was responding to The News story ‘Did Raheel Sharif seek an extension from Nawaz Sharif’ published last week.
General (retd) Raheel Sharif was quoted by retired Lt Gen Amjad Shoaib as saying that following a meeting with the-then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other key PML-N leaders when he was leaving the meeting room of the PM's office, he was approached by Shahbaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar who offered him an extension.
Gen Shoaib had stated that the former army chief had told them that he did not want an extension because he had already announced several months previously that he would not continue in his post after the end of his three-year term.
Shoaib said that when Raheel again showed his reluctance he was offered the slot of field marshal, which he again refused as he was not interested in a post where he would just be a figurehead with nothing to do.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who has a reputation of being an honest politician, said, “I would like to categorically and strongly refute the contents of the reference made about me in the article by Mr. Ansar Abbasi in The News dated 15 Nov. It is totally wrong to assert that together with Shahbaz Sharif we offered an extension to Mr.Raheel Sharif.
“How could I do that when I did not have the authority to grant an extension nor were we authorised in this context by the PM,” he asked, adding, “It is even more ludicrous to assert that we also proposed the position of field marshal. This ‘proposal’ did not even cross our mind much less that we made an offer on the issue.
“Who came up with this ‘brilliant’ proposal and who said what in an open civil-military meeting at the highest level should better remain unsaid at the moment,” he added cryptically. However, when asked he confirmed that a meeting did take place between four top civilians (PM Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Ch Nisar and Ishaq Dar) and three top military officials (led by Raheel Sharif) to discuss the sole issue of an extension.
Nisar said: “I strongly feel that these are sensitive official issues and we must exercise caution in going into the ‘I said, he said’ syndrome. It is even more advisable not to go public with one-sided, inaccurate statements which will vitiate the already fragile environment,” he cautioned.
“How could I do that when I did not have the authority to grant an extension, says ex-PML-N leader