The Chaurdhry of Chakri is angry with the Sharifs, and all attempts at pacification seem to amount to naught. Chaudhry Nisar Khan who in the past was consistent in his attendance at the upper house, much more so than Premier Sharif, went missing a few weeks ago amidst much speculation of the reasons behind his disappearance from public view. Nisar was reportedly upset over not being taken into confidence over policy matters including budget matters and the North Waziristan operation. There are reports that he is not happy with the way Ishaq Dar handled the issue of the budget and how the PM’s special assistant Irfan Siddiqui was always lobbying against him. Sources say that Siddiqui had leaked details of the TTP talks just to upset the Chaudhry and had caused Major (Retd.) Mohammad Amir to leave the negotiations, and thus the talks were bound to fail.

The Musharraf case is also a bone of contention, and this may be the crux of the matter. Nisar doesn’t want to upset the army further and him and Shahbaz Sharif had promised Musharraf safe passage and early release. The Sharifs know that outside Punjab, they don’t really have viable support bases; they need people like Nisar to center political power towards them. Nisar knows this, and it seems he would finally like a share of the pie. Nisar for his part has been known as an army man, and his brother was a general in the army. This is a vital link that the Sharifs can’t afford to lose. However, the state is in a mess, and a crumbling government and politicians throwing tantrums is not what we need right now.

The Sharif’s have to remember that they don’t have a dynastic cult like the Bhuttos, and that they are not the be all and end all of the PML-N. The PML-N survived while Nawaz Sharif was in exile and survived due to party members like Chaudhry Nisar. Additionally, the Sharif brothers are notorious for not taking advice; unfortunately, the Prime Minister is not hailed for his diplomatic skills, but as the few members of the party that command some loyalty and respect amongst supporters and the public, Chaudhry Nisar is one piece of the pie they shouldn’t give up.