KARACHI ': The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) functions in a democratic manner and it is up to the party to decide whether or not it will choose Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz as its leader or not, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Monday.
“It’s also the party’s job to chalk out the election strategy in case she [Maryam Nawaz] runs for elections,” the minister told representatives of the Council for Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) during a meeting in Karachi.
Aurangzeb said Sharif was the first Pakistani leader elected thrice by the people of Pakistan as their prime minister and had presented himself as well as his family for accountability.
She noted that soon after the publication of the Panama Papers, the prime minister had presented himself for accountability without any hesitation.
“The prime minister had addressed the nation after the publication of Panama Papers and himself called for the formation of a joint investigation team to probe into the matter,” she added.
She recalled that the prime minister in his letter to the Supreme Court had called for an investigation into the matter and offered to cooperate and assist the apex court for this purpose.
The minister said the Sharifs were the first political family in the country giving an explanation about their past. She hoped that the process of accountability that had started with the prime minister would continue in the case of others too.
“The prime minister will respond to all queries at all levels for the sake of the confidence the masses have in him,” she added.
Assailing the opposition for launching a vilification campaign against the prime minister’s daughter, Aurangzeb said neither Sharif nor the PML-N had yet nominated Maryam as their candidate for the prime minister’s slot in the future.
She added that in fact it was the opposition that had given the status of a prime minister to Maryam through its consistent vilification campaign which had been going on for more than a year.
The minister said the PML-N believed in nurturing democratic values.
“If she [Maryam] were to run for elections, the party will decide her constituency,” she maintained.
“If the party and the people of Pakistan repose their confidence in Maryam then we will have to respect that decision.”
Lauding the role of the CPNE and the print media, Aurangzeb said her ministry was fully aware of the issues faced by regional newspapers and therefore contemplating the automation and computerisation of the Audit Bureau of Circulation. She also assured the CPNE representatives that the objective of the ABC reorganisation was to further strengthen and facilitate the print media industry as the monitoring of newspapers circulation all over the world was a common and routine phenomenon.
The minister said once the online system was in place, it would not only discourage forgery but also ensure transparency and improve governance.
“The [her department’s] principal information officer along with a team of the press information department will be sent to the CPNE office to discuss various issues and problems in detail and will also share a demo of the software designed to improve the working of ABC,” she added.