LAHORE – PML-N President Nawaz Sharif, who always strove to keep family members, particularly females, away from politics, is learnt to have given a green signal to his elder daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif to join politics and the rumours were confirmed after Maryam admitted that she was in politics while talking to reporters at Home Economics College, Gulberg on Saturday.
“My arrival at the function of college and speech is indicative of fact that I am in politics,” she said, as quoted by a TV channel. She said she wanted to further the noble mission of her father and repair the party’s image regarding women. In the presence of Hamza Shahbaz, son of Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, who Nawaz has declared his political scion, Maryam’s entry in politics engenders various questions about Nawaz’s political throne. The development seems a major blow to Hamza Shahbaz, earlier considered the new kid on the bloc and being compared to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Experts believe that Hamza, who proved his mettle as a true political heir of Nawaz Sharif during his exile, the 2008 election and during the governor’s rule, deserved to be retained as Nawaz’s political successor.
Sources said Maryam’s jump into the political arena implied deep family fissures breeding over the last several years. “Sons of Sharifs did not like one another and same is the case with their daughters, though Nawaz and Shahbaz tried to bridge the gaps,” the sources added. Hazma’s alleged connection with Ayesha Malik also added fuel to fire and pushed Maryam Nawaz to replace him as the political successor, a PML-N senior leader said. “It is also likelihood that after Mayam, one of the sons of Nawaz Sharif — Hassan or Hussain — could announce joining politics,” he added. He said the PML-N big guns hailing from Punjab, who disdained Hamza for his burgeoning power in the province and whopping role in the CM secretariat, also played a vital role in convincing Nawaz to bring a political successor from among his own family members.
The issue of joining politics surfaced after Maryam Nawaz, wife of Capt (r) Safdar, turned down all allegations regarding her assets in London in a TV show. It happened for the first time that a female member of the Sharif family appeared on TV and pleaded not guilty. PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid neither denied nor admitted Maryam’s entry into politics. “I need to ask the quarters concerned and will get to you after a day,” he added. Maryam Nawaz could not be contacted for comment.
By Yasir Habib via DAWN