Maryam Nawaz to meet Khaqan Abbasi amid ‘debate on resignation’

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PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz addresses a press conference in Bahawalpur on February 2, 2023. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive
PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz addresses a press conference in Bahawalpur on February 2, 2023. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

  • Maryam says need senior party member's guidance.
  • She calls Abbasi "loyal" and her "elder brother".
  • PML-N leader says govt began functioning on Nov 28.

As her promotion to the party’s high rank is well in debate, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice-President Maryam Nawaz said Thursday that she would meet Shahid Khaqan Abbasi following his resignation from the party's office upon Maryam's elevation.

The former prime minister resigned from the party's position on January 3 — but it came to light a day earlier — and maintains that it is not appropriate for him to share the same party rank with Maryam.

"Abbasi is our senior. He is my elder brother and a long-standing aide of [PML-N supremo] Nawaz Sharif. I will move forward under the leadership of party seniors," Maryam said in a press conference in Bahawalpur after chairing a party meeting.

Maryam, who is also the party's chief organiser, said that she would call on Abbasi, and both of them would share their thoughts on the party's matters.

Taking a jibe at opponents over "being happy", she said that their happiness would be short-lived as Abbasi is a "loyal and principled man".

Abbasi has also stressed that he does not have any reservations about the party's decision, and vowed to stand by his leadership in any capacity that they ask him to.

"I don't have any objections [to Maryam's appointment]. It's the party's and its president's discretion. I don't have any reservations," Abbasi said while speaking on Geo News' programme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath" on Wednesday.  

Hitting back at critics, Abbasi said whether people like it or not dynastic politics does not disqualify anyone. "We should leave it to the people."

Maryam, during a gathering in Bahawalpur on the same day that reports of Abbasi's resignation surfaced, defended the dynastic politics and came down hard on those censuring her recent promotion.

"A lot of people are furious over dynastic [politics]. The nation’s love is not called a dynasty, it is a democracy," she said.

Govt began functioning on 'November 28'

While slamming Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, the PML-N senior vice president on that the Shehbaz Sharif-led government began after November 28 and not in April.

“We are told that this government [has been in power] for 8 months. However, this government began after November 28. Our government began after November 28 before that ladla's [blue-eyed boy] handlers were present,” said Maryam. 

Maryam also dismissed the PTI’s claim that its members were being targeted after senior leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Shandana Gulzar were booked in sedition cases.

“Those who cry about revenge. I want to tell them that no one has lifted a finger on you,” said Maryam. She added that the claims of revenge cannot be put forward as no one is doing such a thing."

A close aide of the PTI chairman and former interior minister, Sheikh Rasheed, was also arrested in the wee hours of Thursday for levelling allegations against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari — whose party is in alliance with the PML-N in the centre.

Maryam also said that Nawaz — who is residing in London since 2019 — would be back in Pakistan within weeks and the preparations for that are already underway.

"Nawaz will soon be in the country. However, until his ticket's been finalised, I cannot give a definitive date," she said.