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It is my democratic right to give opinion: Maryam Nawaz

02 November, 2017

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KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Maryam Nawaz said on Wednesday that issuing policy statements was the prerogative of the party leadership but it was her democratic right to give her opinion.

In an interview with a private TV channel, the daughter of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that contrary to media reports that she and her cousin Hamza Shahbaz had been stopped from making policy statements of the party “she has not been conveyed” any such thing.

But she hastily added that issuance of any policy statement was the sole prerogative of the party leadership — Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. “However, the PML-N is a democratic party and everyone in the party, including myself, has the right to give their opinion.”

Known for her aggressive style of politics that often puts the PML-N in a tight spot, Ms Sharif said that former president Asif Zardari was being used to “damage” her father.

Rejecting allegations that another NRO — the notorious deal made between former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf and slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto — was in the making, she asked her opponents to tell who was the second party or who had the power to grant the NRO. Her father did not need any NRO, she insisted.

In an apparent reference to Mr Zardari, she said those opponents who were happily “used” to dislodge Nawaz Sharif should understand that he was after all acceptable in a way but “some people have no acceptance at all”.

She said that her father’s opponents should think what their fate would be when the powers that be got done with Nawaz Sharif.

She said that she believed that her father should not have made compromises because his compromises were taken as his weakness.

Ms Sharif said that she still stood by her tweet in which she had said that her father should not become part of “political & personal victimisation in the garb of accountability”. “It was my own opinion. It would be foolish to expect justice.”

She, however, maintained that Mr Sharif’s lawyer had presented strong evidence before the Supreme Court hearing the Panama Papers case and then before the joint investigation team.

She said that if there was any truth in petitioners’ allegations or had Mr Sharif’s lawyers presented a weak case, then the former prime minister would not have been disqualified for possessing an Iqama, residence permit of Gulf states.

Asked to comment on an incendiary speech made by her husband in the National Assembly, Ms Sharif said that it was his personal opinion and she, or the PML-N, did not subscribe to his views.

When reminded of former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s stance that the judiciary should not be criticised, she asked whether justice was linked with non-criticism of judicial decisions. “It is our right to ask questions. Those who term our questions contempt of court should think.”

Ms Sharif said that she had never crossed the “party seniority list” and that she had no problems with her “uncles” in the PML-N.

She said that she had never held any public office but was targeted ever since she started handling the media during [Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s] Islamabad sit-ins.

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