Maryam blames ‘gang of five’ for country’s woes

PML-N leader says members of this ‘cabal' include Imran, two ex-CJPs and two ‘crutches’ of PTI chief

Our Correspondent February 01, 2023
PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz addresses a workers convention. PHOTO: ONLINE


PML-N Senior Vice President  Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday blamed a “cabal of five” for the country’s woes, as she started a campaign to set a new party narrative after her return from London a few days ago.

Addressing a party convention in Bahawalpur, Maryam, who has been assigned the additional tasks of the PML-N’s chief organiser and restructure the party by her father former premier Nawaz Sharif, maintained that this “cabal of five” included PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

She added that two other members of this “gang” were ex-top judges of the country, Saqib Nisar and Asif Saeed Khosa.

Maryam did not mention the names of the other two, merely describing  them as the PTI chief’s two “crutches”.

Sources said Nawaz had assigned the task of preparing a “comprehensive charge-sheet” against Imran to senior party leaders.

The “charge-sheet” also included the PTI chairman’s alleged facilitators – an ex-army chief and two former heads of a spy agency as well as a former chief justice of Pakistan so that the party could collectively target them during the campaign for the Punjab polls drive.

Speaking to the gathering in Bahawalpur, Maryam asked the people to be grateful that the era of this “cabal of five” was over before they could damage the country to a point of no return.

Claiming that the “gang of five” had planned to remain in power for the next 12 years, she asked the people to wonder what would have happened to the country if that had not been stopped.

She maintained that the PTI, during its four years in power, had taken the country to the brink of destruction but fortunately, it was ousted from power just before it could fully accomplish that.

The PML-N leader said she would openly identify members of the cabal.

“Whether that is Khosa or the dam guy (Nisar) or Imran or his two crutches,” she added.

Seemingly referring to Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed, Maryam claimed that Imran's "facilitator", who was posted in Peshawar, was responsible for the deadly mosque attack in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's capital a day earlier.

“Several precious lives were lost yesterday in Peshawar. I will go there as well. Nawaz Sharif had rid the country of terrorism. The nation asks why the terrorist attack in Peshawar took place. I will tell you what happened,” she maintained.

“The one Imran used to call his eyes, hands and ears [Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed], was posted in K-P. Why did he open doors for terrorists? Why did he say that terrorists were our brothers and invited them to Pakistan? Why did he release these hardcore terrorists?” Maryam questioned.

She said that if he had become eyes, hands and ears of Pakistan instead of Imran’s, Pakistan would not have been in this situation.

“The one he [Imran] used to call his eyes, ears and hands, used to say in Afghanistan that everything was fine while drinking qahwa,” she added.

Maryam said Imran had a habit of hurling accusations as he earlier blamed the US for his ouster from the post of the premier and was now alleging that Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi had been appointed to prevent his party’s success in the upcoming elections in the province.

“Just a few days ago, Imran Khan was in power in K-P for the last 10 years. The nation today asks the question that how much capacity have you increased [of police] during all this time. The police in K-P are suffering bullet wounds to their chests… they have nothing to protect themselves because you kept the province only to cover your expenses for helicopter rides,” she added.

Maryam pointed out that when Imran was the prime minister, eight meetings on counter-terrorism were held in  parliament but he did not even attend one of them.

“He was the leader of the house -- even though a ‘fake’ one -- it was his responsibility,” she said.

The PML-N leader said even today when the K-P police needed a forensics laboratory, they came to Punjab that was built by the same Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif whom you criticise.

She added that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was not disappointed that he lost power but he was sad because the gains Pakistan made inch by inch from 2013 to 2017 within the country and outside were lost due to the “cabal of five”.

“In 2016 and 2017, they came up with a drama called Panama and used to say Nawaz was the root of all evil in the country. If that was the case then there should be rivers of milk and honey flowing in the country following the four-year tenure of the Imran Khan government. Pakistan, Instead of going forward, has gone backwards,” she claimed.

Maryam said that the country now had no choice other than Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N.

“Ever since we assumed power, the opponents thought the PML-N was quiet and under pressure. You have made as many rounds of the field as you could and now it is the PML-N’s turn. The PML-N was never weakened or suppressed,” she said.

Lashing out at Imran for destroying the economy, Maryam said that the former premier had “sold” Pakistan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The situation that the country encountered, we should be thankful that Pakistan was saved," she maintained.

Maryam said that Imran, after agreeing to strict measures, backtracked on his promises with the IMF and the nation was paying the price for not keeping up with the commitments made with the global lender.

She blamed the hike in petrol and diesel prices on the agreement with the IMF which Imran had signed.

“Nawaz and Shehbaz saved Pakistan from becoming another Sri Lanka. I know that there is inflation in the country. Gas, electricity, and bread have become expensive. Nawaz Sharif is worried about it too in London,” she added.

The PML-N leader defended  dynastic politics and criticised those questioning her recent promotion as the party’s chief organiser and senior vice president.
“Many people are angry over dynastic [politics]. The nation’s love is not called a dynasty, it is a democracy,” she claimed.

Maryam's remarks on “dynastic politics” came following party leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s resignation from the post of the party’s senior vice president earlier in the day. His resignation was confirmed by Nawaz’s spokesperson and former Sindh governor, Mohammad Zubair.

Maryam said her new assignments had been given to her recently and she adored her supporters’ affection more than the designations granted to her.
On the upcoming Punjab elections, she said the PML-N had now started its campaign and would “clean sweep” the polls.


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