9 May 2021
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PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday declared that it is “now time to stop giving sacrifices and demand accountability” from the government.
During a youth convention in Lahore, she also said that “anyone who speaks against Nawaz Sharif will have their tongues ripped out”, without revealing who the remarks were pointed at.
Maryam, during her long address, questioned at length under what basis former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was removed from the seat of power and “who has put the National Accountability Bureau to the task to assess political statements”.
She also vowed that the “next government will be formed by PML-N” and asked the incumbent regime to “count its days”.
“[Nawaz Sharif] was removed in 2017 on false allegations,” she claimed.
“Even today, when they wish to strike against Nawaz Sharif, they have to arrest his brother and summon his daughter before NAB in a political case,” Maryam said.
The PML-N vice president said that “when the government tired of all other allegations” NAB has accused her of “speaking against institutions”.
“I want to ask and so do the youth. Who has contracted NAB to assess political statements?” she asked.
NAB has summoned Maryam Nawaz on March 26 to respond in a case pertaining to acquisition of land in Raiwind as well as the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.
She said that if NAB “causes any problems” the PML-N will “fight against them with all their might”.
The Pakistan Democratic Movement’s long march was interestingly scheduled that same day — it has since been postponed — and Maryam also referred to this. “They were so scared of the long march that they summoned me the very day the long march was (previously) scheduled.”
Maryam urged the youth gathered there to show up for the NAB hearing on Friday.
She said that if NAB had a “shred of evidence (against her)” they would have flashed a paper confidently before people and not shamefully declared in court that they want her bail cancelled “because she is speaking out”.
“She is not speaking out against institutions. You are only sore because she is exposing you,” Maryam said to the anti-corruption watchdog.
The PML-N vice president said that NAB is also “sore that their master Imran Khan is being exposed in front of everyone for robbing the people of wheat, sugar, gas, electricity and their votes”.
Maryam said that they are out to “remove her from the equation” — amid Nawaz Sharif living abroad — with the aim that “maybe the anti-government movement will be weakened this way”.
She said NAB is mistaken if it believes it will scare her. “I lived in a death cell by myself,” she said.
To chants of “Maryam, Maryam” that followed, she said that the day she was released, a jail official told her: “Madam I am telling you this today, the patience with which you served your sentence in a death cell, I have never before witnessed in my 28 years of service any man having done the same.”
“I am not like Imran Khan with an armed police guard standing outside for a getaway by climbing over the wall,” she followed by saying.
Maryam went on to say that if the “fake government” had any “real sway” then despite having “forcibly obtained” election results in their favour, “fake” Imran Khan’s “would not have been in the state he is today”.
The PML-N vice president said that Nawaz Sharif, when he was premier, “refused to resign” after which he was removed with the Panama Papers case “on a small iqama technicality”.
Maryam said that Nawaz Sharif’s vision “saw Pakistan get the China-Economic Corridor, an end to 22-hour long loadshedding with power generation plants completed within three years, the Rapid Bus, the Orange Line Train, and eradication of terrorism with the Zarb-e-Azm and Raddul Fasaad Operations”.
In criticism of the vision, in comparison, of the prime minister — who she referred to as “jaali hukumraan, Na Laaiq-e-Azam, Taabedaar Khan” — she said it consists of “eggs, calves and chickens”.
She said (former chief minister of Punjab) Shahbaz Sharif left behind a “sparkling clean Punjab” which has now been reduced to “a mound of garbage”.
Maryam said the PML-N also salutes Khawaja Asif who said he will “go to jail but not leave Nawaz Sharif’s side”.
The party vice president said the “next government will InshaAllah be PML-N’s government”.
She recalled how retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, when in power, would say that “Nawaz Sharif is history” but then later “had to watch him on television take an oath for the third time”.
Maryam said the government must “stop thinking of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam” and instead “count its days”.
“I have heard there is a Rs6 per unit increase in electricity. […] This will mean an increase in prices for everything.”
She said the PML-N “knows that if it allows the government to continue for the next two-and-a-half years, its name might be erased from the pages of history” but the prime minister “has the gall to say he will mobilise the public” against the Opposition.
“What will you tell the people? ‘Come with me. The way I wrecked your lives before, let me wreck them again’?” Maryam asked mockingly.
Maryam also told the youth gathered that they must “see the government to its end” and if any leader is “cursed or attacked” they must see to a response in the same measure.
Speaking of the Daska by-election in the NA-75 constituency, she said if the government had even an ounce of confidence that they would win, they would have called for a re-election, instead of going to the Election Commission of Pakistan and then the Supreme Court, asking them to “save us from PML-N”.
“Wherever there is an election, InshaAllah Nawaz Sharif will win […] and wherever there is election rigging and underhanded dealing, you will see that we have lost,” Maryam said.
The PML-N vice president claimed that she cannot name who told her this, but someone from the ruling party gave her a message that “we have told our party, no matter how much rigging the PTI does in the upcoming polls […] PML-N will clean sweep the elections”.
Maryam further claimed that when Yousaf Raza Gillani was contesting against Abdul Hafeez Shaikh for Islamabad’s Senate seat, “someone” told her that certain National Assembly members wished to speak to her.
She said that she thought they are from PML-N, but was instead told “no these MNAs are from PTI” and claimed that the lawmakers told her they will vote for PPP but seek a PML-N ticket.
The PML-N vice president said that when Senate polls were taking place in Punjab, aside from the senators that were running, there were “some 30 votes that were extra” so it was thought that a fourth senator be fielded and later the thought was they should be withdrawn. She claimed PTI lawmakers called the party not to withdraw the candidate as they “wish to cast their votes in PML-N’s favour”.

Abdul Gh Lone