PML-N's exclusion from Senate elections is a 'joke' with the public, Maryam tells crowd in Sargodha
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz on Saturday once again lashed out at the judiciary, saying the Supreme Court decision that led to her father Nawaz Sharif's removal as the party's head was a "joke" with the public.
"This joke that has been played on the party symbol, on the PML-N, this joke has not been played on Nawaz Sharif, this joke has been played on you!" she told a massive crowd at a social media convention of the PML-N in Sargodha.
"The biggest party of Pakistan that has millions of voters has been eliminated from Senate elections."
"Tell these geniuses that no one can drive Nawaz Sharif's love from people's hearts. He is not Nawaz Sharif because of his party presidency or because of his premiership. He became Nawaz Sharif with God's blessing and all your love."
She said a new slogan "mein bhi Nawaz hoon" [I am Nawaz too] was born the day her father was stripped of PML-N presidency.
"If they want to disqualify Nawaz Sharif, they'll have to disqualify his voters as well," she said.
"Would people come out in the streets, all the way from Khyber to Karachi, in support of a person who has stolen from the public?" she asked the attendees, referring to Sharif.
She remarked that the way the people had fought for Sharif by coming out to show their support was a testament to the fact that her father is innocent.
"For the past two years they have been crying corruption, but tell me, were they able to prove even Rs5 worth of corruption?" she asked.
Maryam commented that her father's assets along with her brothers' and her own are constantly put under scrutiny but amidst cheers from the crowd she declared, "Don't show us our assets, show us proof of corruption!"
Reminding the people that her father had been prime minister for two terms before his third ouster in 2017 and that under his leadership, the country saw the launch of the greatest number of developmental projects including motorways, power plants, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Metro bus, and the Orange Line train project, she questioned why there had been "not a single incident of corruption" that surfaced in all this time.
Maryam alleged that because no corruption had been proven against her family since the Panama Papers case emerged, her father was removed from office for "giving gifts to his daughter" and "not taking salary from his son".
"Wow! What justice!" she exclaimed sarcastically. "Well done judges, what a show of justice!"
Accusing the judiciary of targeting Sharif, Maryam said seven out of the 17 judges of the apex court have been hearing cases against her father alone.
Referring to alleged criticism against Sharif's mass-contact campaign, she asked, "Do you remember who these judges came to when Musharraf sent 60 of them home with the stroke of a pen?"
"It is alright for them [judges] to address the people's court for their own restoration, but it is wrong for Nawaz Sharif to come out in public for restoring the integrity of the public vote," she said rhetorically.
Maryam claimed that PML-N's strength has not decreased and neither has respect for Sharif after the latest Supreme Court verdict.
"Even the ladla [favourite person] who approached the Supreme Court to file a petition against Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case, has been forced to question the latest decision taken by them," she said, in a reference to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan.
Maryam was confident that her party would win the 2018 elections as "the 'revenge' has only made the lions stronger and more united."
Once again addressing the judiciary of the country, she said: "Hold [us] accountable, but don't exploit!", "Investigate, but don't be vengeful!" and "Be the judge, not the complainant!"
Appreciating the energy and enthusiasm shown at the social media convention she invited all party workers to create accounts on all social media platforms and support PML-N.
Maryam was given a grand welcome Sargodha's Company Bagh where she was showered with rose petals. Large banners bearing photos of Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam along with those of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal were seen displayed prominently all around.
Maryam was also presented with a special crown designed for her by a supporter, Malik Naveed Aslam. The gold, jewel-encrusted crown weighed 21 tolas. Maryam told the rally she would donate the crown to a school that teaches orphans in Sargodha.
A large number of men and women and even children had showed up well in advance to attend the convention. Children put up victory signs and even the women did not hold back and celebrated by chanting slogans and dancing.
Security had beefed up in the area with a large number of guards present and barbed wiring was installed all around the periphery.