Sunday May 16, 2021
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday said that if speaking of the truth, of the supremacy of the Constitution, law and institutions is traitorous, "then we will do this treachery again and again".
Maryam was paying a visit to party member Javed Latif's family in Sheikhupura when she made the remarks.
Standing outside his residence and speaking to a crowd of supporters gathered there, Maryam said that by labelling Latif a "traitor", the government had, in fact, labelled the people of Sheikhupura "traitors".
"We have been listening to this word ghaddaar (traitor) for a long time now. Whenever they are afraid of someone, and when they are afraid of the truth, of talk of the law and Constitution, of bravery, the bag opens and out come labels such as traitor [...] or thief," she said.
She said that Latif, with his "unwavering stance on what is right and true", had "paid his dues being a son of the soil of Pakistan".
Latif has been arrested for issuing what were termed as "anti-state" remarks. His request for pre-arrest bail was denied by the court.
Maryam said that if being declared a traitor is a crime, then the first person to have been declared one was Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah.
She followed by saying even her father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was declared a traitor and so had she herself been labelled one.
"If calling what is right, 'right', what is true, 'true', if speaking of the supremacy of the Constitution and institutions, and of standing by the law, is traitorous, then we will do this treachery again and again," Maryam said.
She said that those who have "opened factories to issue fatwas (decrees) of someone being a traitor", must listen up. "When you are afraid, and have lost, and cannot bear to listen to talk of the supremacy of the Constitution, you issue certificates of treachery."
"But I will say this, times have changed. People have stopped being afraid.
"Today like Javed Latif when you know you will speak the truth and be arrested and still stick to your guns, there is no greater service to the nation than this," Maryam said.
Speaking of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam said that "they worked hard to label him a traitor" but the 220 million people of Pakistan "turned him into a hero instead".
She added that although Nawaz Sharif is in London, "from all corners of the country, decisions and victories in his favour are being witnessed".
The PML-N vice president then spoke of the Daska by-election, saying the people took the "respect the vote" slogan to heart, guarded their vote, and then took it back when it was "stolen" from them.
Maryam said that Nawaz Sharif "made huge sacrifices" but the people have now "awakened to the truth", know what their rights are, what the supremacy of the law and Constitution is, who believes in it and "who the real traitors are".
Maryam said there was a time when people would wait for "traitors in power" to vacate their seats so they could then be labelled as such, "but today they are on the seats of power already and the people are not afraid to call them out".
Asking people who the real traitors are, she said "the real traitor is the one who while in the US, sold off Kashmir, and left it in India's lap".
"The traitor is he, who, says the embassies who represent Pakistan throughout the world, are not doing their jobs right."
"Traitors are those who play with the lives of the people," Maryam said, adding that traitors are those who leave the nation deep in debt, and who mark the people's fingers after allowing them to purchase only one kilogramme of sugar at a time in Ramadan.
Maryam said that Nawaz Sharif became the prime minister with the votes of the people.
"Nawaz Sharif was not selected, he did not rise to power on anyone's shoulders," she said, adding: "When you use institutions to remove such a leader from power, that is treachery."
The PML-N vice president also counted the use of the Results Transmission System (RTS) in the 2018 elections "to rob the people's vote and impose a selected leader on the people" as treacherous.
She said treason is when the media is silenced, threatened and suppressed, and when the judiciary is made controversial.
Maryam said that "Nawaz Sharif's sun is about to rise again" and "the nation knows that if anyone can get the country out of trouble, it is Nawaz Sharif".
"No one is ready to believe your treason fatwa," Maryam said to the government.
Maryam also warned the government from "standing in between the people and their leaders". "Leave the people's fates to the people," she said.
"If you call Javed Latif a traitor, we are all traitors," she said.
Maryam questioned that if the government "is so desirous of labelling people traitorous" why was Gen Pervez Musharraf "secretly sent out of the country overnight?"
"Whoever you are now labelling traitors, history will remember them as heroes," Maryam said.
"The time is near when Javed Latif and Mian Nawaz Sharif will be among us," she added.