LAHORE: Saying gone are the days when people were afraid of being labeled as traitors and would stop short of speaking the truth, Maryam Nawaz Sharif says if speaking truth and working for the supremacy of the constitution, law and institutions is treason then “we’ll do this treason again and again”.

She was talking to the PML-N workers in Sheikhupura on Sunday who gathered outside the residence of party’s MNA Javed Latif, imprisoned and facing trial under sedition charges. She had gone there to show solidarity with the family of Mr Latif.

Insiders say Javed Latif had questioned why Ms Sharif was not visiting them when her husband retired Capt Safdar had gone there to show support of the party for the imprisoned parliamentarian.

“If calling the right as right, the true as true, if talking of the supremacy of the constitution, law and institutions is treason then we will do this treason again and again,” Maryam said.

Visits family of jailed MNA Javed Latif in Sheikhupura

Responding to Maryam’s onslaught, Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan says the nation knows well the traitor, who invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Jati Umra residence without a valid visa and held secret meetings.

Maryam Nawaz said that those who have opened factories to issue fatwas (religious decrees) declaring someone as a traitor, must listen up that the certificates of treachery were issued “when you are afraid, and have lost, and cannot bear to listen to the talk of the supremacy of the constitution.”

But, she cautioned that the times have changed. “People are no more afraid of being labeled as traitors. Like Javed Latif, when you know you will be arrested for speaking the truth but you still stick to your guns, there is no greater service to the nation than this,” she said.

“We have been listening to this word for a long time now. Whenever they are afraid of someone, and when they are afraid of the truth, of talk of the law and constitution, of bravery, the bag opens and outcomes labels such as traitor or thief,” she said.

The daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif recalled that the first person to have been declared as traitor was Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah. Then her father Nawaz Sharif, and she herself were labeled as the one. She said that those who were labeled as traitors were accepted as heroes by the masses.

She said that Nawaz Sharif “made sacrifices” to awake the people “to know the truth, to know what their rights are, and what the supremacy of the law and constitution is.”

Asking people who the real traitors are, she said: “The real traitor is the one who during secret meetings in the US sold off Kashmir. The treachery was to publicly humiliate the diplomats. The traitors are those who play with the lives of people, who leave the nation deep in debt, and who mark the people’s fingers after allowing them to purchase only one kilogramme of sugar at a time in Ramazan.”

Maryam said that Nawaz Sharif was not the selected one and did not rise to power on anyone’s shoulders rather he became the prime minister with the votes of the people. “The treachery is when you use institutions to remove such a leader from power.”

Meanwhile, Dr Awan said the nation could not forget Nawaz Sharif, who allegedly entered into business deals with Modi’s close aide Ajit Doval and passed on national security secrets to the Indians.

Dr Awan said the people like Javed Latif were speaking the language they were taught by “a big traitor” for years. She said the `big traitor’ also put the cause of Kashmir and Kashmiris on the back burner.

Chiding the Sharif family for allegedly making state institutions, including judiciary, spineless and looting state resources, she said the “fake princess” only came out to speak finding that her family would not be getting any NRO.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2021

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