Days after being awarded the party’s top ranks, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice-President and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz has defended the dynastic politics and came down hard on those censuring her recent promotion.
“A lot of people are furious over dynastic [politics]. The nation’s love is not called a dynasty, it is a democracy,” she said while addressing a charged crowd of supporters during the PML-N workers’ convention in Punjab’s Bahawalpur city on Wednesday.
Maryam — the scion of the Sharif family’s political dynasty, during her recent months-long trip to London — has been tasked with “reorganising” the party by her father, PML-N supremo and three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The PML-N stalwart’s remarks on “dynastic politics” came following party leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s resignation from the senior vice-president post earlier today. The development was confirmed by Mohammad Zubair, spokesperson for Nawaz Sharif.
“He [Abbasi] is a big leader and quitting the post will have no effect on him,” Zubair, who also served as Sindh governor, told the media.
Sources privy to the matter said Abbasi decided to step down after Maryam was elevated as the party’s chief organiser and senior vice-president by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is also the party’s president.
Speaking on her newly-designated positions in the party, the PML-N vice-president said that the party titles have recently been given and she “cherishes her supporters’ love more than the designations” granted to her.
“A lot is being said about my position [in the party]. I am standing by you without the position and you stood by me too. I salute the people of Bahawalpur for supporting us during our testing times,” she said, deeming her supporters as her biggest strength after Allah.
During her address, Maryam also expressed grief over the Peshawar Police Lines blast, praying for the lost lives and a peaceful Pakistan. The suicide bombing at a mosque on Monday claimed over 100 lives and injured more than 220 people.
She later conveyed Nawaz Sharif’s regards to the people of Bahawalpur, a key city in Punjab. “Nawaz Sharif asked me to begin the political campaign from Bahawalpur.”
Censuring Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for concocting lies about the PML-N, Maryam said she would reveal the truths that “the people of Pakistan must know”.
“We should be thankful that Pakistan survived after returning from the edge of destruction, given where it came to in the last four years. They [PTI] had made a 12-year plan [to rule]. Imagine what would have happened had they continued ruling for 12 years,” Maryam said while commenting on the deteriorated economic state of the country due to Imran Khan’s rule from 2018 to 2022.
“Ever since the PML-N came into power, our opponents thought that it has gone quiet and weakened. You’ve circled the field as much as you could. Now it is the N-League’s turn,” she added.
Speaking about the agreement Imran Khan signed as prime minister with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and how it destroyed the country’s economy in the past, Maryam said: “Imran Khan left the country hostaged by the IMF by signing the agreement. It was a terrible pact. But when he saw the [PM] chair slipping away, he violated the agreement.”
The PML-N leader said that she “is aware of inflation in Pakistan and feels the pain” of the nation. “Nawaz Sharif is worried in London over the inflation in the country,” she said.
Maryam, while hitting out hard at the PTI chairman for “crying over inflation”, said that the person who would find out commodity prices through the television during his rule “is now reading out prices from newspapers which, too, are incorrect”.
Commenting on the party’s position in the polls, she said the PML-N would “clean sweep the elections”.
As if it is not enough, Maryam kept on censuring Khan for incessantly pressuring the federal’s government to conduct elections — particularly during the last few months of 2022.
“Had we gone into elections at that time, we would have won by one-third majority. The N-League took a thoughtful decision,” she said, adding that the party supremo didn’t give in to the PTI chief’s pressure to conduct the snap polls.
Referring to the country as home, Maryam said: “From 2018 to 2022, Imran Khan divided the country, now the N-League will repair it. The country has no other choice but Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N.”
In her bid to attract the youth towards the Shehbaz Sharif-led party, Maryam asked the young participants to make their own social media accounts and spread the party’s message. She invited them to join the PML-N’s social media team.
Sharing her concerns about the state of security in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PML-N leader said she would visit Peshawar soon. She also acknowledged the sacrifices made by the armed forces while fighting against terrorism.
However, the party’s senior vice-president questioned the security lapse during her speech criticising Khan for showing the least interest in relevant matters. “When he [Imran Khan] was the prime minister for four years, eight meetings were conducted on security in parliament. He did not even attend one.”
With 2023 being deemed the election year, political parties across Pakistan, including the PML-N, are gearing up for the mega political contest. Maryam, too, returned from London on January 28 to kick-start campaigning for the polls. She travelled to the United Kingdom in October last year.
Addressing the PML-N workers in Lahore last week, the senior party leader reiterated that Nawaz would also be among them soon — a topic that has been widely speculated about.
She vowed to not rest until her party changes the nation’s fate and steers the country out of the ongoing crisis — both economic and political.