Maryam banks on Nawaz’s legacy to entice voters

PML-N senior vice president returns to warm welcome after near four-month stay abroad

Rameez Khan January 28, 2023
Maryam Nawaz is addressing a rally in Lahore on Saturday. PHOTO: PML-N


 In an apparent bid to soothe the nerves as strong headwinds batter the country’s economy, PML-N senior vice president Maryam Nawaz on Saturday assured the nation that she and her father – party supremo Nawaz Sharif – were fully cognizant of the inflationary storm while laying the blame for the crises at the PTI’s door.

In her first speech after returning to the country after a nearly four-month sojourn in London, Maryam zeroed in on the economic message for masses trying to cope with raging inflation and fears that bankruptcy was just around the corner.
Addressing a gathering organised by the party’s Punjab chapter near the airport, Maryam threw her weight behind Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who has been under severe criticism for mishandling the economy and over historic fall in the rupee’s value against the dollar.

The PML-N leader urged the people to have faith in the finance czar and insisted that he will lift the country out of the economic crisis.

Declaring the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif a “national tragedy”, Maryam said if Nawaz’s nine-year tenure was subtracted from their country, we would have been left with nothing but ruins.

She claimed that Nawaz Sharif was not disqualified for being ineligible to run the office rather he was disqualified for his competence with which he steered the country out of crises thrice.

Nawaz has ruled the country thrice and thrice he was ousted from the power of which twice he was banished from Pakistan (on both occasions Nawaz left the country to evade jail time), but every time he returned with even more power and strength, she added.

The PML-N’s senior leader also announced that the party supremo would be returning to Pakistan soon. However, she did not announce any date whatsoever.
She also thanked the people for reposing their trust in him, and for making her the chief organizer of the party.

However, it is pertinent to mention here that her elevation to the position of senior vice president and chief organizer was done by her uncle Shehbaz Sharif – who is also president of the party – by using his discretionary powers, which meant the process took place sans any selection or election.

During her address, Maryam also announced that she would be leaving for a district-wise visit to Punjab on 1 February.

Taking a jibe at former premier Imran Khan, she said a “person who according to himself got to know of price hikes during his tenure as prime minister from the media”, was today feigning concerns about inflation and price hikes.
“PTI instead of asking us for our nine months should answer for their four years,” she said and added that those who have dissolved their own government in Punjab and K-P were “now crying on roads”.

Commenting about the medical treatment she received in London, Maryam said her doctors had told her that she has survived without any damage to her organs despite her throat condition. She further revealed that these people knew that she needed to undergo throat surgery, one that can only be done in two foreign countries but they did not allow me to go.

Admitting that the masses are reeling from skyrocketing inflation she assured the people that her party will fix the country’s economy and put the country back on the path of development.It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan is facing a historic economic crisis, with constant depreciation of the rupee, rapid increase in inflation, and depleting foreign reserves creating a sense of uncertainty amongst the masses. The country’s forex reserves dropped to a nine-year low of $3.68 billion during the week ending on January 20.

On Saturday, Maryam took the opportunity to slam the previous PTI government, saying that the economy was “destroyed” during the last four years due to their “incompetence”.

“We will not rest until we change the fate of the nation,” she added.The ruling party leader said this while addressing party workers and supporters in Lahore, who had gathered to welcome her upon her return to the country after spending almost four months in London.“Nawaz Sharif is still the top leader of the country despite being ousted from power three times,” she remarked.

She announced that her father Nawaz, who has been living in self-exile in London under the pretext of medical treatment since November 2019, would also return to the country “very soon”.Without naming anyone, Maryam said, “These people forced Nawaz Sharif to go into exile twice, but it was Nawaz Sharif who steered Pakistan out of trouble three times.”Addressing her chief political rival, Maryam said PTI chief Imran Khan will spend the rest of his life crying as whatever is happening to him is a result of ‘karma’.

Regarding her new role as the party’s chief organiser, she said that will strengthen the PML-N by bringing the youth into the party folds.“We will give a new direction to the party and will win the upcoming elections in Punjab,” she remarked.

PM welcomes Maryam

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the party’s senior VP on her return to Pakistan.In a tweet, he said, “With the blessing of Allah and prayers of the nation, daughter Maryam Nawaz came back to the country after regaining her health.”“In the way, she always upheld the ideology of Quaid Muslim League (Nawaz), principles and truth, with the same enthusiasm and energy she will assume her responsibilities,” he added.A large number of party workers had gathered at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport to welcome the senior vice president. Moreover, banners and posters were displayed on the way from the airport to the Sharif family’s Jati Umra residence to welcome Maryam.Upon her arrival at the airport, the PML-N VP tweeted: "Pak sar zameen shadbad".It is worth mentioning here that Maryam returned to Pakistan after a three-month absence.

She left for London on October 6 after getting her passport from the court—which remained surrendered there for three years—to be with her father, Nawaz Sharif, and to undergo surgery.On January 3, she was made senior vice president and was given the authority to organise the party at all levels as its chief organiser.Maryam and her father, Nawaz, left London for Geneva on January 4. She had throat surgery on January 6.


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