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In an incendiary letter to the Prime Minister’s office, Andleeb Abbas, senior PTI leader has demanded an explanation for the role of Maryam Nawaz in the government. Abbas has accused the Prime Minister’s daughter of misusing her father’s office to further her party’s agenda.

In what capacity is Maryam Nawaz, who is not an elected representative, giving official stances on National Security issues?

The PTI leader addressed her letter to the principal secretary of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. She has highlighted five questions regarding the activities of Maryam Nawaz answers to which the government is obliged to give under Article 19-A of the constitution of Pakistan and Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002.

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Her letter asks the following questions:

  1. In what capacity is Maryam Nawaz, who is not an elected representative, giving official stances on National Security issues. Her biased and misinformed stances have caused immense damage to the image of Pakistan. Her clarification on Jindal’s visit to Sharif family as personal/friendly meeting was denied by Jyoti Malhotra, who explained that Jindal had come with Modi’s message regarding Kulbhushan Jadev. Why has the ministry of information not taken an action against this embarrassment?Why is the Strategic Media Communication Cell, which employs more than 90 people, run by Maryam Nawaz? Why are these people being paid from taxpayer’s money as its budget is coming from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting?
  2.  The government has allocated a record Rs8.3 billion for the information ministry for 2016-2017. Why are these 90 people misusing public funded PM office, PID office, cabinet block, PM Secretariat Raiwind office and Ministry of Planning, P Block and R Block? Why is this cell that is being used for PML-N propaganda, funded out of taxpayer’s money?
  3. In what capacity does Maryam Nawaz meet foreign ambassadors/dignitaries when she does not hold any official position? All her meetings are arranged in Prime Minister House. This is misuse of taxpayer’s money as just the entertainment/refreshment expense of PM house is Rs10 million?
  4. Why has Maryam Nawaz made Pakistan a laughing stock in the international community by declaring Panama Leaks trash? The ICIJ journalists have exposed this statement by showing her own passport and daring her to show her original documents. This is not only misdeclaration but also a contempt of court as the Supreme Court is spending its best resource and time on the Panama Leaks case.

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She further went on to state that these questions must be answered within 21 days as it has been specified in the freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002. If the government does not respond it will be a violation of her rights and a dismissal of democratic norms.

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