People, not courts, will pass verdict: Maryam

February 17, 2018

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MANSEHRA: Maryam Nawaz (an arm raised) addressing a big rally here on Friday.—White Star
MANSEHRA: Maryam Nawaz (an arm raised) addressing a big rally here on Friday.—White Star

MANSEHRA: Following in the footsteps of her father, Maryam Nawaz on Friday criticised the judiciary and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in an almost equal measure during a half an hour speech at a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) social media convention in Baffa on Friday.

She claimed that despite the disqualification and Supreme Court’s judgement, the people still wanted Nawaz Sharif in power.

“How much longer will this nation witness executions and disqualifications of prime ministers while those who stand on containers and curse the judiciary by crying ‘poll-rigging’ are not even served a notice to clarify their position,” said the ousted prime minister’s daughter.

“The court of the people has exonerated Nawaz Sharif,” she said. “One after another, the people have given their verdict like they did in Lodhran and like they are doing now by coming to show support in Baffa.”

Asks if there’s a clause in Constitution about vilification of elected representatives

She added that now the verdict would be passed by the people — not the courts. Talking about the judiciary’s choice of words when referring to her family, she said: “Is there a clause in the Constitution about vilification of elected representatives? The judiciary should avoid using language used by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan. If you use the same kind of language as used by our rival, we will respond in the same manner.”

“The day some court gives a judgement in favour of Nawaz Sharif, some members of the judiciary come up with a new gali. Sometimes they call him Godfather or Sicilian mafia, thief, dacoit; what is this? If you are insulting the head of the government aren’t you also insulting his people?” she asked.

“Who is committing contempt of court here? Nawaz Sharif has not committed contempt of court…it is those who expelled him from office who committed contempt of court and justice,” she said to a riled up crowd of PML-N supporters. Since joining politics, she added, she had realised that judges never spoke or clarified their decisions but it was their judgements which spoke louder than anything else.

Maryam said that there was no point in putting her father or the family on the Exit Control List. “We are not going to run away. Our ancestors are buried here. We will live and die on this land,” she said.

Maryam, who entered the venue with her husband retired Capt Mohammad Safdar, said that although this was meant to be a social media convention, it had turned into a public gathering to show support and respect for her father.

“It doesn’t matter if my father remains chief of the PML-N or not, he will still rule the hearts and minds of this nation. This great public sentiment is what is not being tolerated by those who kicked him out of office,” she said.

“Conspiracies are being hatched to keep Nawaz Sharif away from the people but what the conspirators forget is that the more you oppress my father, the stronger he will emerge,” she added.

Discussing the Lodhran by-election, she said that it was more of a referendum where people defeated “forces of conspiracies” and paved a path to success for Nawaz Sharif’s trusted soldier.

“We will come back as winners in the upcoming general elections and those who disqualified Mr Sharif will think again about why they ousted him from office,” she said, adding that the PTI will face a historic defeat in the polls.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2018