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Nisar’s last bet

28 67 76

In principle, ego is the antithesis of popular politics. However, there are always exceptions to the rule – one of them being Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, with a career spanning over 35 years. Despite his ego, he has been a big political name for the last four decades and was counted among the leading lights of the PML-N.

Nisar rose to prominence in the 1985 party-less elections held under Gen Ziaul Haq. His elder brother, Chaudhry Iftikhar Ali Khan, was in the army and ultimately retired as a lieutenant general and a defence secretary. His father, Chaudhry Fateh Khan, retired as a brigadier and later joined politics and was elected as a member of the Punjab Assembly in 1965.

True to his military roots, Chaudhry Nisar has always followed the national narrative set by the security institutions. An Aitchisonian with a liberal global outlook, Nisar – probably sensing the thumb rule of the times – has been a rightist ideologue from the very start of his career. The PML-N’s constant tilt to the right was always ensured by him, and he remained part of every party move – from the making of the IJI to all anti-PPP movements.

Gen Ziaul Haq picked the young and talented Chaudhry Nisar and made him a state minister. At the time, both Nisar and Nawaz Sharif were young and new to the corridors of power. They immediately became friends and Nisar started supporting Nawaz in the Junejo cabinet where Nawaz was not much liked due to his trading background. Later, Nisar was also the main influence on Nawaz on the latter’s decision to side with Gen Zia in the tussle between Junejo and the general.

The Nawaz-Nisar duo worked well and Nisar was Nawaz’s closest confidante in the latter’s first government in 1990. It was Nisar who took care of civil-military relations. He was, however, blamed by Gen Asif Nawaz for souring relations between Nawaz and the army. But, during the Benazir government, he managed the situation with the establishment again and was able to send the government home and........

© The News International