No rift with Shahbaz, party is united, insists Maryam - GulfToday

No rift with Shahbaz, party is united, insists Maryam


Maryam Nawaz. Reuters/ File

Tariq Butt

Blaming the media for quoting her out of context, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz has said that there are no divisions within the party, particularly with her uncle Shahbaz Sharif, who is also the party president.

Earlier, she had lambasted the charter of economy, proposed by Shahbaz, saying that the government had reduced the economy to a joke. During the same presser, she had added that the final call on the charter of economy would be made by her father and party supremo, Nawaz Sharif.

The government as well as detractors of the PML-N had pounced on her statement, citing it as proof of schisms within the top leadership of the country’s main opposition party.

In a statement, Maryam said that her press conference was misunderstood and quoted out of context.

She said that she shares an extremely respectful and very cordial relationship with her paternal uncle Shahbaz and believed that it was her prime duty to take him into confidence over every matter.

“During his budget speech, Shahbaz reminded that his offer for a charter of economy right after the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) came to power was rudely dismissed by the government. The house speaker, Asad Qaiser, said that he would take Shahbaz up on the offer, to which the PML-N president replied, ‘it’s never too late,” she reminded.

In her new conference, the statement said, Maryam simply pointed out that the PTI regime had made a mockery of the country’s economy and had destroyed it beyond repair. “This statement was grossly misconstrued and misrepresented out of context in the coverage of the press conference, which is extremely disappointing,” it stated.

The Sharif family, by the grace of God, she said, is united and on the same page without any disagreements or discord. “The rivals of the Sharif family have been working day and night for the past three decades to drive a wedge between the two brothers but the family has stood strong against such conspiracies and will continue to do so in future.”

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday vowed to oppose the ban imposed by National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri on the use of the word “selected” for Prime Minister Imran Khan.

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari questioned the legitimacy of the move and said his party would hold consultations with lawyers to ascertain all possible legal options.

He told reporters that all parliamentarians should deliberate on the issue. “We must ascertain whether the government even has the authority to impose such a ban.”

Similarly, PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman said the ban on the word “selected” was a manifestation of the prime minister’s insecurities.

“PPP Chairman Bilawal was the first person to use the word “selected” for Imran. It is quite telling to see that this word has now become a part of Imran Khan’s identity; this single word sums up his political journey,” she said.

She said imposing such a ban only serves to validate the assertion that Imran was handpicked for Pakistan’s highest office. “If the premier has not been selected, then why is the word being banned?”

The senator also called out what she termed the premier’s hypocrisy on the matter. “A little while back, Imran was clapping when the word was used in the National Assembly but now he is endorsing this ban. It is amusing to see a person [PM Imran] who used words such as dacoits and thieves for political opponents be this afraid of a word as inane as selected.”

She also took a swipe at the PTI’s performance in government. “If Imran’s selectors had first helped him become a councilor in Mianwali in the past, maybe Pakistan would not be in the condition it is today. This is what happens when a person who cannot even win a councillor’s election is made the prime minister of a country.”

The senator concluded her remarks with a vow to oppose the PTI-led government’s attempts to stifle criticism. “The government can impose as many restrictions as they want, but the public will always know that their prime minister has been selected for the post.”

Earlier Suri banned the MPs from calling Imran a “selected prime minister” in the National Assembly.

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