A year ago, it was her pair of shoes — basically the cost of those — that made headlines. She still dresses the same way; but makes news for different reasons; for being the new champion of ‘democracy’, ‘people’s mandate’, ‘freedom of expression’ in a Pakistan which, according to Pakistan PM Imran Khan supporters, was languishing under her family rule for years.
“They are afraid of the truth. They are afraid of Maryam Nawaz..," this is what she wants Naya Pakistan to believe and at the very moment, the live telecast of her press conference was pulled off the air. Well!
Is the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government/Imran Khan actually scared of ‘Waqt ki Awaz, Maryam Nawaz’ — who hasn’t ever contested an election but has been there since 2013?
Maryam Nawaz is suddenly in Pakistan's political discourse. (Photo: Reuters)
In the press conference which has suddenly become the nub of Pakistan’s politics, Maryam was showing a video of a judge confessing that he was forced/blackmailed to convict Nawaz Sharif. The defence that the government has to stop the telecast of this press meet is that of the question of the image of the judiciary which can’t be besmirched.
But from then on, Maryam has become the loud and clear opposition voice on the streets of Pakistan, while uncle Shehbaz Sharif remains the official and the older voice of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
At a time when a two-digit figure in the 2018 elections (PML-N won 82 of the 342 seats), a number of corruption charges, and imprisonment of leader Nawaz Sharif were going to write the PML-N off — propelling Imran Khan to an almost opposition-free Naya Pakistan — Maryam’s appearance could just be dismissed as a fly in the ointment.
But she is not letting that happen.
Despite having numerous corruption charges on her, she is making the narrative turn towards Imran Khan, the incompetence of his government, and army’s handholding. Now, she has threatened to start a fast unless Nawaz Sharif is allowed home food.
Maryam Nawaz is demanding her father Nawaz Sharif be provided better food in jail. (Photo: Reuters)
The presence of the deep state in Pakistan politics is an open secret. And that the Sharif family and Pakistan's 'army family' don't see each other eye-to-eye is also not a secret.
Pakistani voters do not see a messiah in any member of the Sharif family, for sure. Apart from Panama and several graft charges, Maryam has degree controversies too. Still, Maryam is being noticed and that's not only for the support base the party has, but also for Maryam, the person — the heir of Pakistan's one of the most powerful political families, who has lost her mother and is now fighting for her father.
Imran Khan apparently wants to free Pakistan from the chokehold of venal political families. It's not been a full year of his government. Yet they are back in Pakistan's political discourse. This is what Imran Khan should be scared of.
Also Read: What's happening in Pakistan is exactly what should happen when a country gets freedom from family rules