SAPM Shahbaz Gill hits back at PML-N leadership for 'attacking, targeting' first lady

Published March 29, 2022
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill addresses a press briefing in Islamabad on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill addresses a press briefing in Islamabad on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill on Tuesday hit back at PML-N's top leadership for their "persistent attacking and targeting" of First Lady Bushra Bibi in their political speeches.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Gill accused the PML-N of having a "history of maligning women — whether they are politicians or not — for their political motives".

"You would remember how, through a helicopter, fake and objectionable pictures of Benazir Bhutto and her mother were thrown by PML-N," Gill claimed. "You would also remember the words used for Benazir Bhutto at gatherings in the 90s."

He said that vilifying women was a common practice among PML-N leaders as he recalled the 2016 incident of Khawaja Asif's outburst against Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari as a case in point.

"It is unfortunate that in the last three years, these people [PML-N] have targeted the first lady," the SAPM said. "What's her crime? That she's the nation's daughter? that she's a mother, a sister, a wife? Or that she is an ummati of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)?

"The first lady never indulges in any political activity nor holds the public office," Gull said. "But time and again — whether it's Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Safdar or any other male or female members of their party — multiple attacks have been made against the first lady."

At the opposition alliance's gathering in Islamabad on Monday, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz had alleged that a Lahore-based woman named Farah was involved in taking bribes on behalf of the government for transfers and postings.

Referring to that allegation today, Gill acknowledged that the woman Maryam spoke of was indeed a close aide of the first lady. "But she has nothing to do with politics. She isn't a politician and doesn't hold any public office either," the SAPM said.

"By repeatedly mentioning Farah Bibi, Maryam targets the first lady in a bid to reach out to the prime minister. If you dare to ... fight a political battle instead of indulging in cheap tactics."

Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif, in an interview to a private TV channel, had claimed that witchcraft was being done at Bani Gala — Prime Minister Imran Khan's private residence.

"Masses are deprived of food and children are yearning for milk, but tons of chicken is being burnt in Bani Gala for witchcraft," he had said.

Gill criticised his namesake PML-N leader, saying that the people of Pakistan belonged to multiple faiths and beliefs. "We don't talk about these things because it can harm religious harmony. You can't bring up someone's religious beliefs repeatedly and present it in a negative way."

"You (PML-N leaders) are making these useless accusations because you don't have anything else to say. You should be ashamed of yourself," Gill added, urging the media, politicians and public to condemn the use of such language.

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