Political debut: Nawaz’s daughter steps into her father’s shoes

Published: December 10, 2011
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: Express

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: Express


Children of the country’s leading political figures have decided to step out of their parents’ shadows and make a name for themselves.

On Thursday, Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and wife of PML-N MNA Capt (Retd) Safdar, made her political debut while addressing a women’s convention.

The 38-year-old defended her family against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s ‘asset declaration’ campaign. Standing up for her father, Maryam said had Nawaz completed his second term, he would have made Pakistan an economic power at par with Malaysia, Turkey and Singapore.

Confident and composed, the up-and-coming politician drew applause from her audience.

Seasoned PML-N observers were of the view that Maryam was a far better option than Hamza Shahbaz, son of the Punjab chief minister.

“Maryam’s stepping out for her family and taking on a political role means Nawaz Sharif is not at all happy with the conduct and performance of Hamza Shahbaz, whom he groomed himself for a future political role,” said Mujibur Rehman Shami, a leading columnist and political commentator, said.

Hamza, 40, has been rocked by a succession of scandals recently. He was alleged to have amassed billions through speculative trading in the poultry industry.

His problems were compounded when Ayesha Ahad Malik claimed she was Hamza’s legitimate wife.

“Hamza’s conduct has become a liability. Nawaz Sharif is certainly not happy with him and wants to replace him with a fresh face from the family. Thus, Maryam Nawaz,” Shami said.

However, a bureaucrat close to these developments told The Express Tribune that Hamza was still calling the shots in Lahore. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had given him the responsibility to look after development work and political affairs in Lahore.

“We are watching another family development as well. Salman Shahbaz, Hamza’s younger brother, who has been involved in the family business has also stepped out into the open. So now it will be interesting to watch who takes the lead – Maryam, Hamza or Shahbaz,” Shami said.

“If we look at the whole scenario, the younger Sharifs are stepping out in the public eye at a time when the PML-N is being squeezed by Imran Khan’s onslaught in central urban Punjab,” Shami added.

Before the Sharifs were in exile in Saudi Arabia, Nawaz was carefully grooming his elder son Hussain Nawaz for a future in politics. However, certain personal problems within the family caused him to be sidelined.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (27)

  • Mirza
    Dec 10, 2011 - 11:00AM

    The wealth, party and throne must stay in the family. Both Sharif brothers are still alive and kicking but they have their extended family members controlling the party. ZAB was hanged by the worst dictator Gen Zia, a young BB had to come out to lead her party. Again BB was brutally murdered in another dictator’s era and Bilawal had to come out as a consensus Chairman of PPP. The point is for other parties it is all kosher to keep it all in the family while it worst practice for PPP? From Imran Khan, to Wali Khan to Mullah Fazal, to all other parties they have lifelong leaders but they criticize the PPP for the same thing.


  • shuja
    Dec 10, 2011 - 11:13AM

    Although it is democratic right of every citizen to take part in politics but since the formation of first PPP it has become a normal fact in our country to consider parties a family affair.Now when PMLN is feeling the heat at the hands of PTI, Hamza,Safdar, and now Maryam has come from nowhere to earn from work done by her father.Only PTI seems to be on right track under the leadership of great Khan who has time and again proved from his deeds that he is the man who can deliver.Nation has enough of Sharifs.Maryam might be a good wife and obedient daughter but as she has said that her role model is his father,which means same policies which have brought no no revolution which they are advocating.Let me tell we have always voted for PMLN,BUT SHAKY THIS TIME.


  • Rai asaf kharal
    Dec 10, 2011 - 11:46AM

    Is this democracy, arsitocracy or monarchy ????. Where is the common man in the whole scenario. Is nt it monopoly in politics ??.Does it mean that the children of the Bhutto’s,sharifs ,chaudhries,mazari’s ,legahari’s and the like are best abled and suited to run the affairs of the state and everybody else is destined to follow them .Away with such people and such system .


  • Dr. Ali Ahmed
    Dec 10, 2011 - 11:51AM

    just wondering, why isn’t she maryam safdar,


  • saleem ullah
    Dec 10, 2011 - 12:01PM

    At the moment no need to speculate about the plans of Mian Nawaz Sharif , for his future family politician. Here it is very healthy that a leading moderate ,Punjabi family like Sharifs ; encouraging their respectable daughter to contribte for the nation.


  • Nazir Ahgmed Minto
    Dec 10, 2011 - 12:44PM

    Pakistan ! is Not the Property of ANY one family ! – Or any One Party !- Imran Khan , is the Natural Choice of The Country, in this point in Time ! Pakistan belongs to the YOUTH of Today and Tomorrow ! – I Appeal to the Youth …to follow in !..behind Imran Khan. His Vision is Clear , His Intentions are True ! – GOD , will , as always !….Guide Him , and a Prosperous Pakistan , shall be our Destiny ! – AMEN !


  • Syed Ahsan Awais
    Dec 10, 2011 - 3:17PM

    @Dr. Ali Ahmed:
    same reason why BB was not a Benazir Zardari. Bhutto/Nawaz/Sharif are ‘political’ brands: the only ones that sell around here.


  • Anjum
    Dec 10, 2011 - 3:22PM

    Another family joke – their motto: family first, friends next and country. People observe that “pak army has a country” but these Nawaz, Bhuttos their likes also has a country, a kingdom. Europe learned from the french revolution, the arabs are quicker than us, inshallah Pak is on the move.


  • Huma
    Dec 10, 2011 - 4:39PM

    The new, educated (translation: fluent in english) face of nawaz shareef. Same old, same old…


  • MAC
    Dec 10, 2011 - 5:10PM

    Sharifs, Bhuttos (Pakistan), Gandhis (India), Bandranaikes (Sri Lanka), Marcos, Aquinos, Macapagals, Estradas (Phillipines), Mujibs and Zias (Bangladesh), Aung San Suu Kyi’s family (Burma),Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore), Kennedys, Bushes, Clintons, Roosevelts (U.S.A.).
    If someone has the right to vote as a citizen, they have the right to run for office. We cannot rob anyone of their democratic right to take part in politics simply because of the family they are born into. If they are incompetent or corrupt, that same right can be exercised against them to vote them out. But for now, they have that right.


  • Hades
    Dec 10, 2011 - 5:30PM

    @Mirza. PTI is not a family party. Imran has mentioned many times that hee will not allow his sons to inherit PTI.


  • Chengez K
    Dec 10, 2011 - 5:38PM

    Good looking,confident new face…Great start……

    End…same old failure & exile with corruption charges!!!!


  • I Ahmed
    Dec 10, 2011 - 6:14PM

    “Maryam’s stepping out for her family and taking on a political role means Nawaz Sharif is not at all happy with the conduct and performance of Hamza Shahbaz, whom he groomed himself for a future political role,” said Mujibur Rehman Shami.
    If Nawaz Sharif had ‘groomed’ his son for political role, the result has been perfect!! I thought Mr. Shami should have known that anyone trained by ‘a seasoned (like seasoning in food) politician’ like Nawaz Sharif not much would have been expected out of the mentee!!!!


  • sarfraz khan
    Dec 10, 2011 - 6:27PM

    imran khan declared that his sons would not be taking part in politics because he knows that dwelling in the lap of ‘Goras’ & non-muslims, they will neither come to Pakistan nor will they be accepted by the people of Pakistan!!!


  • Londoner
    Dec 10, 2011 - 7:06PM

    @ Hades—of course. It will probably be inherited by Zain Quraishi, SMQ’s son.


  • S.O.S
    Dec 10, 2011 - 7:17PM

    May God protect Punjab specially and Pakistan generally from any harm arising out of the erroneous actions or ambitions of these younger recruits.


  • Dec 10, 2011 - 7:48PM

    ET, Please put a pic of his daughter! Recommend

  • Nasrkhan
    Dec 10, 2011 - 10:36PM

    Its a good idea afterall. Remember the famous dialougue of the princess in the movie, THE ROMAN HOLIDAY, when she said, “The young are the hope for the future”. Having a young foreign minister already, Bilawal Zardari flexing muscles and not so young Imran Khan but an inspiration for young all make up the scene to invite youngsters like Maryam and Safdar etc for the better. Oldies beware!!!Recommend

  • Nasrkhan
    Dec 10, 2011 - 10:41PM

    The young are the hpoe for the future. Roman Holiday.


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Dec 11, 2011 - 9:49AM

    We are proud to see her in politics. Its clear message that Sharif Brothers treat their duaghters equal to their sons.
    @ Hades, Imran’s son should decide what he wants in life. Not giving his own son freedom to choose is a sign of a dictator. We should not vote him to power. He will take away our rights.


  • MK
    Dec 11, 2011 - 12:35PM


    Very typical, instead of fixing and admitting a fault, just say you are bad too. Dynastic politics are a curse, regardless of the party. Doesnt make Zardari a good guy if Sharif is making same mistake.


  • MK
    Dec 11, 2011 - 12:37PM

    @Dr. Ali Ahmed:

    WOW, her last name is this your biggest concern after reading this article?


  • So What!
    Dec 11, 2011 - 11:28PM

    Who knows any political activity or such education of the new converts? Now as past young politicians were very involved with a mentor who himself had a strong CV in most all fields of politics the new Politics is about playing “Race Card”, Political Collaborations”, General Strikes, Marches, unwanted Discloser Threats”, and ” Foreign or Local deals with (uncompromising) Strong Forces. Anyway! Who needs Education, Experience or Character when above cards can get you where you want to go? Except a few scholars or concern citizens general public has generally lost hope too. So now Corruption Rules until the boat falls-off the cliff of humanity and into the stream of desperation and chaos.


  • Abdul Rahman Khan
    Dec 12, 2011 - 3:21AM

    Good questions raised why mariam is mariam nawaz and not mariam safdar. Benazir also adopted her father’s surname instead of her husband’s. Bilaweal zardari has also adopted his maternal grand father’s surname. They are all capitalising on the goodwill and popularity of their elders – sounds like monarchial dynasty is or has been ruling pakistan.
    A REQUEST TO PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA: Please don’t encourage the piracy of their elders surnames by bilawal and mariam. The two should be mentioned as Bilawal Zardari and Mariam Safdar. No one can force you to call them as bilawal bhutto zardari and mariam nawaz.


  • MC
    Dec 12, 2011 - 10:49PM

    Stop hating people. Imran not being from political party or her being from one doesnt mean anything. Elections should not be rigged and who ever wins deserve to rule. By law she is as eligible as Imran or you to run for elections. Key is fair elections and fair fight.


  • Tariq Viqar Bakhshi
    Dec 12, 2011 - 11:59PM

    It is a very good sign. We need more women in politics. It is also heartening to note that there will be more options for the voters. The lady seems to have the wits required. She has the right credentials. I wish her the best of luck! Let’s hope these young lot can bring about better management through their thought process.
    It will remain to be seen though whether she can fight out against the onslaught of TI or the experience of other settled politicians.


  • sarfraz khan
    Dec 14, 2011 - 2:19AM

    well done maryam…. proud of u!!Recommend

More in Pakistan