PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz on Thursday said that she had remained "silent" over the past few months due to "personal reasons" but it did not mean that her resolve had weakened.
Maryam was responding to questions about her absence from the public eye while speaking to the media in Islamabad alongside PML-N leadership including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and Mariyum Aurangzeb.
"First, if anyone thinks that by putting me in jail without any reason I can be scared or subdued, they should know that my resolve to stand by civilian supremacy and Constitution has strengthened, not weakened," the former premier's daughter said.
"My father went abroad for medical treatment and [when he left] his life was in danger. Now he is better than before. I don't want to cause him pain and do not want him to abandon treatment and return because of me.
"I am under my party's discipline. Whenever my party leadership, my seniors give me instructions to come forward and play my role, you will not find me lagging behind."
Maryam, who had been politically active since 2017 when Nawaz was disqualified as prime minister and was vocal about her opposition to the PTI's government, has remained silent since her arrest in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills corruption case in August 2019.
Maryam also negated media reports suggesting that her father and former premier Nawaz Sharif — who is currently in London for treatment — had refused to go through a medical procedure because she was not by his side. The PML-N vice president cannot travel abroad as her name is on the no-fly list and she was ordered by the Lahore High Court to surrender her passport in order to secure bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills' case last year.
Last month, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif had issued a statement saying that Nawaz's medical procedure had been delayed twice because Maryam could not travel to London.
"Media had reported [Nawaz] as saying that he will not get treatment in Maryam's absence. This is completely false, he did not say that," she told reporters in her brief press talk today. "He was hospitalised twice and everything was booked and by chance, both times, my court hearing was scheduled around the time [his procedure was scheduled to take place]. So he said 'we can wait for a day or two, if Maryam gets permission to travel, I will get the procedure done. Otherwise we'll see once her hearing is over'.
"It's true that my brothers are with him and my sisters as well and they are looking after him day and night [...] But he is as much my father as he is of my other siblings. I want to be there with him when he is going through a major heart procedure and I'm sure he wants all his children to be with him, given that it has not been long since my mother passed away. So this is a very valid wish and I don't think this should be politicised.
"If I get permission [to travel] then it's fine but if courts don't allow me to leave then I urge Mian sahib to get his procedure done as soon as possible."
Maryam later met PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal as well, where she was accompanied by Abbasi, Ismail and other party leaders. Speaking to the media for a second time, she lauded Iqbal, Abbasi, Ismail, Rana Sanaullah and Khwaja Saad Rafique — all of whom are nominated in corruption cases and were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau — for sticking to their stance and "not betraying their leader and party".