Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan on Saturday responded to Maryam Nawaz's criticism of the proposed charter of economy, saying that "by calling it a joke, she [Maryam] has made fun of her own uncle [Shehbaz Sharif]".
The idea of a charter of economy — an arrival at a common ground of sorts between the warring government and opposition benches — had been proposed earlier by both the PPP and PML-N.
In a fiery press conference today, Maryam Nawaz, a vice president of the PML-N, had termed the meesaaq-e-maeeshat (charter of economy) as a mazaaq-i-maeeshat (making a joke of the economy), before adding that there can be no agreement with a government "that stole the people's mandate".
"Shehbaz sahib has a lot more political and administrative experience than me... He must definitely have considered things that I am unable to see when he talked about [signing a] Charter of Economy," she said when asked about the party president's position on the matter.
Awan, in her 'counter' press conference, went on to say that Maryam should "have demanded that Shehbaz Sharif resign from his post (as the party's president)" if his views were contrary to what Nawaz Sharif desires.
'Pining for power'
Moving on to what she described as Maryam's "hue and cry" regarding Nawaz Sharif's purportedly rapidly declining health while in prison, Awan said that "had Maryam been a qualified medical doctor, she would not have politicised her father's health the way she has".
Awan regretted that the opposition repeatedly blames the government for politicking over Nawaz Sharif's health, yet "today, their 'princess' has not only politicised the matter herself by reading out [Nawaz Sharif's medical] reports, but also confirmed the fact that if in Pakistan's jails all prisoners are tested, 90 per cent of those above 60 will be found to have far worse ailments."
"Today, through those reports, she [Maryam] has once more made it evident that she has been crying wolf in the name of medical relief. Mian Nawaz Sharif does not suffer from pain in his heart; but he and you, mohtarma, suffer from the pain of (desiring) power," said Awan.
"You (both) are squirming in that pain. Mian Nawaz Sharif is also pained by the fact that his own brother [Shehbaz Sharif] cannot be seen standing with his [Nawaz's] viewpoint.
"This is the pain that was reflected (in your statements) today," she said.