Maryam assails former generals, judiciary

PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday turned her guns on former military generals and the judiciary

In her no-holds-barred interactions with journalists in Islamabad, Maryam, the daughter of party supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif, alleged that the Panama Papers scandal surfaced after ex-army chief Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif was refused an extension, adding that her father had paid the price for not doing that

The PML-N leader also cautiously spilled the beans about the decision of her father to back the legislation that gave an extension to his successor, Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, admitting that it was a “sin”

Read more: Imran’s ‘selectors’ have left, claims Maryam On January 8, 2020, parliament passed the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020, allowing for an extension in Gen (retd) Qamar's tenure by up to three years until November 29 2022 by fixing 64 years as the maximum age limit of service of the three services chiefs and the chairman of the joint chief of staff committee

Interestingly, the PML-N had supported the bill

Without revealing who forced Nawaz to support the law for Gen (retd) Qamar's extension, the PML-N leader maintained that she did not participate in the “sin” that her party had committed

“I have repeatedly said that and paid the price for [maintaining] that stance,” she added

The PML-N leader also “shed light” on how the military had allegedly continued playing its role in politics through former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed, in the recent past

Maryam maintained that the former spymaster had abused his position by rigging the elections for PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan

She further alleged that Lt Gen (retd) Faiz tried to break the PML-N, targeted its candidates, and forced them to return the party’s tickets

She added that the candidates who had refused to accept that, the former spymaster had them disqualified

The PML-N stalwart claimed that Lt Gen (retd) Faiz had not only violated his oath by interfering in politics, but made a lot of money by committing corruption and abusing his position

Without elaborating much, Maryam said one could catch a glimpse of what Gen (retd) Faiz had done by just looking at his residence in his native town Chakwal She added that one day the reality would surface no matter how hard one tried to hide it

To a question about why all political parties built an anti-establishment narrative while being in the opposition but took its assistance for coming to power, Maryam said one should appreciate the army’s stance that it would stay apolitical, allow a political government to function, and not hatch any more conspiracies

“The army and ISI are our institutions; we should own them,” Maryam said

“If they [the army and ISI] commit excesses somewhere then we should check them, but fighting for the sake of fighting and opposition for the sake of opposition is not a good thing,” she added

Also read: 'Bajwa called the shots': Ex-PM Imran says he was just a 'punching bag' She said a disagreement should be based on some principle and one should not be labelled as “Mir Sadiq and Mir Jaffar” just for refusing to lend any further support

She deflected a question if the generals could be prosecuted or court-martialed

Lashing out at Imran, Maryam recalled that he would praise Gen (retd) Qamar till his last day in the office but once he was ousted, he started berating him

However, she added, Imran continued to secretly meet the former army chief at the Presidency even after he was ousted through a vote of no-confidence in April last year in the hope that he would gain his “crutches” back

“When Imran didn’t get that support, he started equating Gen Qamar and others with traitors, animals and what not,” she added

Maryam regretted that her party and the government had not fought her father's case the way they should have

She maintained that neither any narrative was built, nor any legislation for this purpose -- something she described as a “weakness”

She said several people had spoken in favour of her father and soon others would too

Maryam said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was not an electoral alliance, saying the PML-N had already started its election campaign, which would soon be headed by her father

On PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s resignation from the party position, Maryam said she wanted to learn from his experiences and would not want him to suddenly stand behind her

Maryam questioned the judiciary’s “discriminatory approach” as well as its different standards for the PML-N and PTI

She said the judiciary was not delivering justice

The PML-N leader said the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) evidence-based decision in the prohibited funding case was not deemed enough to prosecute the PTI chairman

She said the judiciary was not demanding answers from Imran the way it should have, saying the PML-N would be justified in taking up the issue before the public after seeing how matters unfolded

Maryam said the people were aware about who was responsible for the current inflation and taking the country’s economy to the brink of default

Maryam refrained herself from commenting on the recent ‘controversial’ statements issued by her husband Captain (retd) Safdar, saying that it was his “personal opinion”

On the economic situation, she said the ruling alliance was not fond of burning its political capital but tough decisions had to be taken because of the “poor performance” of the previous government

She conceded that the party had left "an open field" for the opponents since coming into power

During the conversation, she reiterated that the PTI government was working hand-in-hand with both Lt Gen (retd) Faiz as well as former chief justice Saqib Nisar, who she did not name but referred to as "Baba Rehmta"

On her return and reorganisation of her party, she said that the public response was overwhelming and the best candidates would be fielded in the upcoming elections whenever they were held

Date:14-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link