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Choice or obedience: Why has Maryam Nawaz gone silent again?

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 24, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Jan 24, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Choice or obedience: Why has Maryam Nawaz gone silent again?

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, who entered politics in 2017 while actively campaigning for her deceased mother for the NA-120 seat, has once again disappeared from Pakistan’s political scene.

The daughter of former PM Nawaz Sharif, who has stirred many controversies because of her fiery statements and explosive press conferences, is being investigated by NAB in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

In November 2019, she secured bail in the sugar mills case and since her release, she has gone quiet. This is strange for many people because the PML-N leader has often used Twitter to express her thoughts on different political issues. Her last activity on the micro-blogging site was when she changed her profile picture on January 8.

SAMAA TV anchors and lawyers Haider Waheed and Moiz Jaferii discussed the reasons for the politician’s silence on their show Agenda 360 on Friday. They were joined by Naeem Ashraf Butt, an analyst and reporter.

“This is not the first time that Maryam has chosen to be silent,” said Butt. After she was released from jail following the suspension of the Avenfield verdict, she had gone mum too, he said.

Waheed chipped in and said that he feels that Maryam is being silent because of her father. “Her own politics is being negatively affected by this,” he remarked. “But she has to listen to her father.”

Nawaz now has accepted that his “way back [into politics] is through the establishment and not agitation.” He said that he thinks that Maryam’s opinion hasn’t changed but Nawaz has instructed her to “sit this one out”.

Responding to this, Butt said that there is no doubt that Maryam is listening to her father. “The problem is that now even the workers are done finding excuses for her.” When she entered into politics, people started comparing her to former PM Benazir Bhutto, he added.

“Benazir’s struggle, unlike Maryam’s, was continuous and her decisions were her own,” Waheed remarked.

To understand Maryam’s behaviour, you have to understand the hierarchy in her family, the lawyer said. Their family places importance on respecting the elders and their decisions.

Maryam can’t even tweet her opinions because of her obligation to her father’s wishes, he speculated.

Butt, however, claimed that he is sure that the way Maryam is choosing to respond is through her own consent and not only because of her father. She could’ve said at least something about the arrest of PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, he said.

It could be that once she started becoming vocal, new things came to light and she realised that she can’t win against them. “There was a meeting in which Shehbaz Sharif told party leaders that they can’t fight the establishment and cannot continue to hit their heads against the wall. Now, both the brothers have accepted this and this is quite practical,” Butt added.

The senior leaders, however, are angry because they are still inside jails, said that analyst.

“It could be that because of their [PML-N senior leaders] sacrifices that they [the Sharif family] got a better deal, Waheed added.

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