Convicted PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif has disclosed that she is serving a solitary confinement, and she is not allowed to meet anyone in jail. She rejected an assertion that she was teaching some children in jail.
The only ‘luxury’ available to her in prison is a ground, situated in front of her cell, where she takes a stroll occasionally, she said in reply to questions by Samaa News channel programme ‘Awaz’ host Shahzad Iqbal in Adiala jail on Monday.
To a question, she said that her father, Nawaz Sharif, also lodged in the same jail, was giving her strength to bear with the circumstances and, some times, she also proves to be her father’s strength.
To a question that whether the jail term was the start of her political career or the end, she said it was not started yet, so there was no question of end of it. She said that time would decide her political fate; whether she would emerge as a leader from jail or not in the coming years.
She was asked if she was disappointed when Shahbaz Sharif failed to bring people on roads on the day of their return to the country. She said: “The party is passing through hard times currently. But situation will certainly change.”
When Maryam was asked if she was satisfied with the performance of Shahbaz Sharif as the party president, she said currently Shahbaz Sharif was leading the party, and running the party affairs in his peculiar style. She said Shahbaz Sharif had always done politics in his own style. Keeping mum for some moments, Maryam said she didn’t know if the partyleaders were launching a movement for their release or just had forgotten them. She said she receives a newspaper, but its various parts are mostly cut out before it reaches her. However, she said she had been provided books of her choice, and she was reading some of them currently. She is reading a book ‘Glimpses of World History’ and some of Paulo Coelho’s books these days, she added.
The PML-N leader said getting bail in cases against them was their right, but she was not sure if they would be granted bail soon. She said she and her father knew it well while returning home from London that they would be convicted and they would have to go into appeal in higher courts. She said they knew it well that Nawaz Sharif, who’s in his later 60s, had been awarded 10 years jail term and she would have to spend seven years in jail, even then they decided to return to the country.
Maryam Nawaz rejected an assertion that they (Sharifs) were looking for a deal to get out of the jail, adding that the optional was available long ago if they wanted so.
To a question about her style of politics, she said she had no regrets, as sometime a person didn’t do something as political agenda but to satisfy one’s conscience.
The daughter of former premier turned sour when she was asked about money-laundering and corruption charges against Nawaz Sharif during the days when she and her siblings Hassan and Hussain Nawaz were only children. “You just go through the accountability court verdict and you will find out that she and her father were not convicted of corruption.
The anchorperson told the PML-N leader that she and her father were awarded jail terms for not proving the sources of income through which they made assets beyond their known sources of income. It was also a kind of corruption, she was told.
Maryam Nawaz said all allegations levelled against them were fabricated and baseless. “It had already been decided that they (Sharifs) would be convicted, no matter what evidence they produce in their defence,” she added. She said had the courts been independent in the country, they would have been exonerated of all charges on the basis of the evidence they had given to the court.
She was again told that they were convicted as they failed to provide their money trail and justify the purchase of very costly flats in London. However, she said the prosecution failed to tell the court that what was worth of the Sharif family’s London property and how much was their income. “Then how the accountability court could say that our assets are beyond the known sources of income of the family,” she added.
Maryam parried a question about congratulating Imran Khan over his success in become prime minister of the country, saying now people would come to know what was difference of governance of the PML-N and the PTI. She said the PTI had started its government with lots of U-turns on various issues.
To yet another question, she said that those were mere allegations that the PML-N government misused national funds and the Sharif family lived like kings.
Meanwhile, when Nawaz Sharif, present on the occasion, was asked about the difference of the jail term in 1999 and the current one, he said he would discuss it some other time. He said he and his daughter Maryam were proving to be strength of each other in jail.
Nawaz Sharif refused to answer most questions. He said the independent media must look into the jail sentences awarded to them, though the prosecution failed to prove corruption charges against them. He said they were already in appeal against the sentences given to them.