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August 12, 2020

Maryam Nawaz is now cautious, careful

Top Story

August 12, 2020

ISLAMABAD: After monthslong break, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz Tuesday reappeared on the political scene with an attack on Prime Minister Imran Khan and the NAB. She, however, was fully cautious not to utter a word against the powers that be. She was aggressive but knew her target well, as her party is trying hard to re-establish broken relations with those who matter. Notwithstanding what the PML-N leaders portray and what they claim, many senior party leaders are not only in contact with those who matter, but they also feel happy about it. More and more PML-N leaders have realized what their limits are and how they could regain power. In the past, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan used to be the main contact person between the PML-N and the right quarters. But now it is for the powers that be to contact whoever they want from within the PML-N. Shahbaz Sharif has his contacts, Khawaja Asif too became important in the party for his right connections. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is also known in the party for the same reason. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been approached several times but his reluctance to become a party to any “talks” makes him an unenthusiastic leaguer. According to one source, almost everyone in the top PML-N hierarchy is in touch with them at some level. The source said Nawaz Sharif was recently approached to consider being part of a “national government”.Majority of PML-N top leaders were in favour of such a setup. There were expectations that things would change by the end of July this year. However, Nawaz Sharif did not agree to it. Yet, the government sources say if Nawaz was offered any deal he would take it, but at present no deals are being offered and this is all posturing by the opposition who know no NRO is on the cards. Deals have been a part of Pakistani politics and there are many in the PML-N senior leadership who are still aspiring for the same. Regarding a recent major compromise made by the PML-N against its slogan of “vote ko izzat do”

(respect the vote), it is said that it was done with the consent of Nawaz Sharif, who did not want to further his, his family’s and his party leaders’ suffering. Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz are facing convictions, Shahbaz is on bail in different corruption cases filed by the NAB, both the sons of Nawaz Sharif have been declared absconders, Shahbaz Sharif’s elder son is behind the bars in a NAB corruption reference while his younger son Suleman is in London as is wanted by the NAB. Son-in-law of Nawaz was convicted and is on bail, while Shahbaz’s son in law is outside Pakistan and is NAB’s absconder. Nawaz-Shahbaz’s deceased younger brother Abbas Sharif’s son was also arrested by the NAB in corruption case but he finally got bail after spending months behind the bars. Besides Sharifs, key PML-N leaders like Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Saad Rafiq and his brother, Ahsan Iqbal, Miftah Ismail etc have also been made to face jails and NAB inquiries/cases. Rana Sanaullah was arrested in ANF heroin smuggling case framed against him. These conditions for the PML-N leaders have changed the “revolutionary” thinking of many N-leaguers, who have become pragmatic like before and feel happy if they are invited over a cup of tea by those who matter. This situation has certainly influenced Maryam Nawaz, a source said.