Maryam says anti-corruption must have reasons to arrest Mazari, notes country going through crucial phase
LAHORE: PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Saturday responded to PTI leader and former human rights minister Shireen Mazari's arrest, saying that she was "not happy" about it.
During an interaction with PML-N's social media team, Maryam said: "I was not happy to learn about Mazari's arrest, but I saw on TV that the case against her was established during Buzdar's government and it was related to an 800-acre land which belonged to the state."
Maryam said the anti-corruption department had arrested Mazari, adding that "they must've had their reasons."
"I saw on TV that the PTI was using the woman card [to defend Mazari]," she said.
"You [PTI leaders] should not be using the woman card because when I was arrested twice — without even having a case registered against me — I did not use the woman or victim card. On the other hand, Mazari has serious allegations levelled against her."
Maryam noted that she was kept behind bars at the Adiala Jail for four months despite the authorities having "no case" against her. The PML-N vice president went on to say Mazari should provide evidence and prove the allegations to be false.
"If the allegations are proven false, and she comes out innocent, then I promise that I will stand beside her," the PML-N vice president said.
Talking about her own arrest, Maryam said she was meeting the former prime minister and PML-N supremo at the Kot Lakhpat Jail when a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team came to apprehend her in 2019.
"I informed Nawaz Sharif about the arrest. But despite being a father, he maintained his composure and as he tried to hug me, the NAB team — which was outside the jail — came inside and arrested me in front of my father while my daughter cried."
She recalled that in response to her arrest, Nawaz had said: "Time does not stand still."
Berating the PTI government, Maryam said no case was registered against her for four months.
"But I did not play the victim or the woman card [...] I was kept in a death cell despite being innocent," the PML-N vice president said, stressing that despite all this, she did not "believe in revenge".
The PML-N vice president noted that although Mazari was arrested by women police officials, "I was arrested by men both times when I was put behind bars."
"During my custody in NAB, men officers would barge into my room at 12am and film videos. The then-NAB DG had instructed the police officers to barge into my room," Maryam said, warning that she would reveal details about her captivity when the time comes.
Turning her guns on PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan, Maryam said he could not blame the courts for opening their doors at midnight when he was "violating the Constitution".
"The courts opened as you committed a serious offence of violating the Constitution. Do you expect courts to not take notice when you violate the Constitution?"
Maryam went on to say that Khan was still the "favourite", as if Nawaz, Prime Minister Shehbaz, Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz, or she would have "violated the Constitution" in the manner that the PTI chairman did, then their "corpses would have been hanged on the streets".
Maryam added: "If Nawaz — when he was the premier — Shahbaz and Hamza being the prime minister and chief minister, respectively, could appear before the courts, then so can Mazari."
Maryam added that if the foreign-funding case against PTI would have been lodged against the PML-N, then Nawaz's party would have been disbanded already.
Earlier in her speech, Maryam had said that the country was going through a "crucial phase" as the PTI's "incompetency" had destroyed Pakistan's economy.