The rise of the daughter and a slightly deviant footstep

Nawaz Sharif's dream of becoming the Prime Minister for the fourth time has been shattered. His brother Shahbaz is set to become the Prime Minister.


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After almost two weeks of high political drama, it is now certain that an alliance government of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will come to power. Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Shahbaz Sharif will become the Prime Minister, while PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s father Asif Ali Zardari will become the President of Pakistan. The News 21 was the first to predict it globally, which now seems to be coming true now.

Amidst all these developments, a new political leadership is emerging in Pakistan. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s 50-year-old daughter Maryam Nawaz has been nominated to be the next Chief Minister of Punjab. She will take charge in the coming few days. She will be the first woman Chief Minister of Punjab province. He will be the third member of the Sharif family to hold the post after father Nawaz Sharif and uncle Shahbaz Sharif.

Like her father, Maryam Nawaz has also had her fair share of controversies. After completing her schooling and starting her college life, she found herself in the midst of a controversy. A famous college in Lahore refused her admission as her academic progress was not satisfactory. At that time, Nawaz Sharif was the Chief Minister of Punjab province. He was outraged that his daughter had been denied admission and immediately fired the principal of the college. Later, due to student protests, those professors were reinstated. Maryam Nawaz then had to face public ridicule.

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Maryam actually wanted to be a doctor. He had also taken admission for a medical course. However, due to poor educational progress, she had to give up her medical studies midway. She then pursued a master’s degree in English literature. She claims that she has obtained a doctorate in political science. It is an altogether different matter that no one has ever seen her doctoral thesis till today.

Pakistani army officer Safdar Awan was in the personal security cordon of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Maryam Nawaz fell in love with him and got married at the age of 19. They have two daughters and one son. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited by Nawaz Sharif for Maryam’s daughter Mahnoor’s wedding. In 2013, barely a year after entering into politics, Maryam started working as an adviser in the youth welfare department in the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet.

Nawaz Sharif had to resign following a Lahore High Court order after an outcry that his appointment was illegal. Even after that she was working in the party. However, Maryam has been constantly in the limelight for allegedly concealing her father’s wealth, and sometimes for plotting the assassination of the leader of a leader from the rival political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). There were three times when the lower court had to pass the sentence in the corruption case and Maryam got it overturned from the high court.

In 2019 Nawaz Sharif left for London. Maryam then launched a front against the then Prime Minister Imran Khan. She led the agitation of the opposition parties and consistently viciously criticized Imran Khan. It was clear at that time that Maryam would succeed Nawaz Sharif.

Maryam has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Punjab province so that she gains some administrative experience. However, not all the tactics in politics are not as straightforward as they seem to be. Maryam may clash with Hamza, her cousin and son of Prime Minister-designate Shahbaz Sharif. Hamza was not present when Maryam was sworn in as an MLA. It has been decided in the Sharif family that Hamza should take interest in the national politics and hand over the reins of Punjab province to Maryam. This formula will be followed for a few days. Over time, however, Hamza may challenge Maryam over who is the political heir of the Sharif family.

Nawaz Sharif has appointed another Maryam to ensure smooth running of Maryam’s administration. His party chief spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb will act as an adviser to Maryam Nawaz. To reach Maryam Nawaz, ordinary activists have to overcome the barrier of Maryam Aurangzeb. Maryam Aurangzeb served as Information and Broadcasting Minister in the Central Government. She is considered close to Nawaz Sharif and has completed her education from England. Therefore, Sharif feels that she can give proper advice to Maryam Nawaz.

However, Nawaz Sharif’s dream of becoming the Prime Minister for the fourth time has been shattered. His brother Shahbaz is set to become the Prime Minister. In such a situation, Nawaz Sharif has put a huge responsibility on Maryam. Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, a senior leader, knows very well how dangerous the consequences of breaking Nawaz’s trust can be. He tried to oppose Nawaz Sharif and Sharif eliminated him from politics altogether. So, it is certain that Nawaz Sharif will surely remove every other obstacle that will come in the way of Maryam Nawaz. It will be equally interesting to see how the inexperienced Mariam benefits from all her fathers’ mechanizations, or her internal enemies keep growing.

Also Read: A failed move by Nawaz Sharif


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