Maryam wants workers, senior leaders to launch party membership drive
PML-N Senior Vice President and chief organizer Maryam Nawaz chaired a meeting of the party’s Islamabad district central organization on Sunday, where she told the workers to begin a membership drive to convey the party’s narrative to the people.
She was of the view that youths should be included in the party, and issued instructions to attract students, women and other citizens towards the PML-N.
Maryam said senior party office-bearers should become ambassadors and start a membership drive.
During the meeting, the party’s chief organizer also reviewed the organizational structure and its performance. Consultations were held and suggestions sought related to organizational matters, while organizational meetings of the social media and women’s teams were also scheduled for today.
Later, in an informal conversation with the media, Ms Nawaz said her father Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gave her the party’s responsibility in London. Immediately after her neck surgery in Switzerland, she said, she was told to return to Pakistan.
She disclosed that Nawaz had himself prepared the workers’ convention’s schedule, and that her father will hold rallies near the elections.
About her party’s performance over the past few months, Maryam regretted that leaving the field open was their negligence. She also admitted that a blind eye could not be turned to inflation, adding an engaging role could not be played in the absence of Nawaz Sharif.
Talking about the reception she received in Islamabad, she said it was so warm that it seemed flour was available for free and the price of tomato was Rs2 per kilogram.
She admitted the PML-N’s attention towards social media remained low, but explained they believed in performance. The war of narrative has replaced performance, she remarked.
Previously, the party ran a very effective social media based on the respect for vote campaign that “Papa Johns” (in a reference to a senior retired military official) had to crack down on them.
She announced that an IT wing of the PML-N was being set up, headed by Senator Afnanullah Khan. She said she had been focusing on social media, spokespersons and YouTubers for four years.
Commenting on certain statements of her husband Capt (retd) Safdar that are being portrayed by the opposition PTI as being anti-PML-N, Maryam said he was an individual personality and can answer for himself.
She said the PML-N’s pre-election campaign has started, adding she contacted senior party leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who was in Lahore and will meet her. She said her ego wasn’t hurt by meeting or pacifying someone.
“All the senior party leaders are colleagues of my father and uncle, and I myself will not want senior figures to stand behind me,” she claimed.
Talking about the plans of her son Junaid Safdar, she said he had returned after completing his education after 10 years and will work in the education sector.
About her own future plans, she said she wasn’t eyeing the prime minister or chief minister’s slot, adding she will not be able to work for the party if she considered her position.
Maryam said PML-N leaders were implicated in childish cases, while there was proof against Imran Khan. But he doesn’t appear in court and wears a plaster every time he is summoned. This doesn’t reflect well on the judiciary, as the noose around our neck used to be tight.
She remarked that questions were being raised over the judiciary that justice is not being done. She alleged that discrimination was being carried out in the matter of justice.
She also alleged that former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and former ISI chief Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid used to influence cases against her party leaders.
“Even today, our position on extension to Gen Bajwa is the same, for which we suffered a lot too.”
She said neither she nor Nawaz Sharif will ever do politics against their principles. If someone wants to impose martial law today, there will be obstacles.
“If former army chief Raheel Sharif was given an extension, there wouldn’t be any iqama or Panama cases. So we bore the brunt of not compromising on principles,” she claimed.
She further claimed that the PDM is not an electoral alliance, and it cannot be called as such yet.
Ms Nawaz said her mission is to strengthen the party’s organization in every province, adding this organizational campaign can be considered the pre-election drive. One reason for this campaign is also to find the best election nominees, she added.
She further said the army and ISI are “our institutions, we should keep an eye on them too”. There should be no fight for the sake of fighting, and opposition for the sake of opposition.
She regretted her father Nawaz Sharif’s case was not pursued properly. This government could not carry out the legislation required for it.
Now everyone will talk about Nawaz’s innocence. He will not only be among the people soon, but the cases against him will also be closed. It’s just a matter of a few weeks, and efforts are being made for it, she announced.
There will be no compromise on civil supremacy, Maryam maintained.
Her government did not sign any agreement with the IMF, but was only fulfilling the conditions agreed upon. The PTI wants the country to default, she claimed.
She took a jibe that Imran Khan is Pakistan’s only prime minister who was ousted through votes. She alleged the Imran would seek help from the former ISI chief to complete the numbers needed to keep him in office.
“If the PTI wins 15 out of 20 elections, how are we being facilitated?”