After the humiliating defeat of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) in July by-polls, the party is seriously considering giving some extra role to Maryam Nawaz, the apparent political heir of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.
Sources privy to the developments told Minute Mirror that Nawaz Sharif has given his approval in this regard and soon Maryam Nawaz will be seen holding meetings on a daily basis at the party’s Model Town secretariat. It all started when the PML-N met humiliating defeat in July 17 by-polls in which it could manage to win only four out of 20 provincial assembly seats. It was really a setback for PML-N and the party’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif chaired back-to-back meetings through video link from London.
The sources revealed that the elder Sharif was really upset over his party’s defeat in Punjab which remained his stronghold for around three decades. The situation was so worrisome for Sharif that he spoke to around a dozen senior party leaders to know the reasons behind PML-N’s defeat in the by-polls. PML-N’s Senior Vice President and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi flew to London to apprise the elder Sharif of what happened to his party in Punjab.
The story did not end here as former chief minister Hamza Shehbaz also flew to London to personally give an “explanation” to his uncle and party chief. The sources said that Nawaz wasn’t happy with Hamza during his short stint as CM Punjab. There were reports that Hamza was reluctant to accommodate the lawmakers of Maryam’s camp in his cabinet and it did not go down well with the elder Sharif.
“It has been decided within the party that an aggressive approach will be adopted to counter the popularity of Imran Khan, especially in Punjab,” a PML-N leader said. “You will see that Maryam Nawaz will be given some more roles soon,” he added. It should be noted here that Maryam is currently a Vice-President of PML-N and is considered to be the crowd puller within the party. She is likely to get one more office in addition to the Vice-President of PML-N and it will be announced soon.
The sources further said that Maryam will devise the strategy of PML-N for the upcoming by-polls to be held in Punjab. The by-polls are scheduled for two seats of the National Assembly from the constituencies of Nankana Sahab and Faisalabad next month. She will be monitoring the election campaign from the Model Town secretariat where a new office is being built and equipped with the latest technology. “The team of Maryam Nawaz has already landed at Model Town secretariat. Talal Chaudhry and Azma Bukhari are holding regular pressers there and both are considered close to Maryam,” an insider said. She will also camp there instead of working from Jati Umrah, he added.
“Yes, it is being discussed in the party these days,” said PML-N Punjab’s Information Secretary and former provincial minister Azma Bukhari, when asked about Maryam’s bigger role soon. She told Minute Mirror that Maryam Nawaz had already run an effective campaign for the party in the by-polls as Prime Minister (Shehbaz Sharif) and Chief Minister (Hamza Shehbaz) were not allowed to run the campaign by the Election Commission of Pakistan. She is always ready for the party whenever needed, she said.