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Tehmina’s tweets set tongues wagging

Updated August 11, 2017


LAHORE: The fulmination of Tehmina Durrani, wife of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, lends credence to the perception about rift in the Sharif family.

A day after requesting ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to “spare Shahbaz Sharif the responsibility of protecting and assisting his own party’s rally,” Ms Durrani went a step ahead and held Nawaz’s “immature advisers” responsible for his ouster. The comment set the tongues wagging whether she is speaking on her own or on behalf of Shahbaz Sharif.

In another series of tweets on Thursday, she asked Nawaz Sharif to fire his media team and “sycophants”.

“Please fire your ‘failed’ media team. Banish all sycophants from sight. They are responsible for your statesmanship becoming an ‘under 19’ game,” she tweeted.

Commenting on the tweet, a PML-N leader from Punjab told Dawn that Ms Durrani apparently referred to the media that was engaged by Maryam Nawaz to hit out at the party opponents and defend Nawaz and his children in the Panama Papers case.

Ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb, Talal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz (who was once a right-hand man of Gen Musharraf) and MNA Maiza Hamid are said to be members of Maryam’s media team. During the course of Panama Papers proceedings, they went the extra mile to defend Nawaz Sharif and his children and take on PTI chairman Imran Khan.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) says both Talal and Aziz have been “rewarded for their hard work” through induction in the cabinet of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Ms Durrani also took on the advisers to Nawaz whose “ill-advice” caused him unceremonious departure from the Prime Minister House.

“Nawaz Sharif Sahib you hired the most mediocre advisers. You rejected your most sincere, politically experienced and astute colleagues. Your advisers are immature, untutored in vision - your welfare and your role - they lost it for you. Pakistan is a complicated nation... they don’t know,” went another tweet.

It added, “Nawaz Sharif lost the opportunity of making Pakistan a social welfare state. I pray that Nawaz Sharif Sahib arrives home safely... and fires all his advisers.”

Chaudhry Nisar has already categorically said the Panama Papers case had been mishandled both legally and politically.

As for Nisar’s argument, the PML-N leader regretted: “The PML-N hawks like Pervaiz Rashid, Khawaja Asif, Saad Rafique, Mashidullah Khan and Abid Sher Ali are to be blamed for their advice to Nawaz to have aggressive approach in handling the Panama case and the PML-N opponents.”

Ms Durrani also spoke out for the people affected by the PML-N rally. “Who will pay for the profit and loss of hotels and shops - government? Instead of counting ‘heads’ on GT Road, provide for these and all other ‘heads’ across Pakistan. The government does not have authority to block a main road that belongs to the state and people for its own use. This is illegal order,” she said.

The social media was abuzz with comments as many asked whether she (Ms Durrani) was speaking the language of Shahbaz Sharif or venting out her frustration for not getting the chance of becoming the ‘first lady’.

Another PML-N leader has this to say: “Shahbaz Sharif has intellectual compatibility with Ms Durrani. It is not possible that Shahbaz would not have discussed the current situation with Ms Durrani and there is a possibility that he would have talked about his predicament....”

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2017