Begum Shamim Akhtar — the mother of former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, as well as Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and the party’s president, Shahbaz Sharif — died on Sunday. She was 89 years old at the time of her death. Maryam Nawaz, vice-President of PML-N, took to Twitter and slammed the government for being ‘inhumane’ as she was not ‘informed about her grandmother’s demise’.
“My father and family kept trying to contact me but could not,” she said, lambasting the incumbent PTI-led government for being inconsiderate and noting how “no government official was humane enough to inform me of my grandmother’s death”.
میاں صاحب کے سر سے ماں کا دعاوں بھرا سایہ اٹھ گیا۔ دادی کے انتقال کی خبر مجھے فون سروسز معطل ہونے کی وجہ سے دو گھنٹے تاخیر سے ملی جس کے بعد میں فورا لاہور کی لیے روانہ ہو گئی۔ میرے والد اور گھر والے بار بار رابطے کی کوشش کرتے رہے مگر رابطہ نہ ہو سکا۔ pic.twitter.com/F4PmoB2T70
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) November 22, 2020
“I have requested Mian sahab not to come back [to Pakistan] at all. These are tyrants, these are the people hellbent on exacting revenge, and no humanity is expected from them,” Maryam Nawaz wrote on Twitter.
Twitterati corrected Maryam Nawaz that her grandmother died at 7 am UK time, which is 12 noon Pakistan time. Her grandmother died “when she was at Baloor’s House & not in the “Jalsa”, she must have decided that appearance in the ‘Jalsa’ was important,” wrote Dr. Moeed Pirzada in response to Maryam’s tweet.
Dangerous Hypocrisy! When has Govt been responsible for conveying family news of tragedy? Apparently her grandmother died around 12, Noon, when she was at Baloor's House & not in the "Jalsa", she must have decided that appearance in the "Jalsa" was important https://t.co/gGL6I4MSnT
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) November 22, 2020
There is a strong perception that Maryam was either attempting to seek public sympathy in this critical situation—at the time her grandmother had passed away—- or was smartly clarifying that Nawaz won’t get back to Pakistan. Nawaz left for London for his treatment after an organized campaign was run by media and opinion makers in Pakistan. Reliable sources claim that the PML-N’s supremo went to London after signing a deal with the country’s powerful establishment.
Ishaq Dar says Mary's grandmother died at 7am UK time, which is 12 noon Pakistan time. Hours before PDM jalsa and Mary couldve easily found out. In any case, she was live streaming the jalsa on facebook via mobile. How disgusting do you have to be to use your grandma's dead. Liar pic.twitter.com/zvDDaH66Dn
— Waqas (@worqas) November 22, 2020
Notably, on September 12, 2018, the three-time first lady Kulsoom Nawaz passed away in London after a long battle with cancer. However, both her sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz refused to attend the funeral which was held in Pakistan. Hussain confirmed that both he and his brother Hassan would not travel to Pakistan for their mother’s burial. In 2017, the accountability court declared former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz as absconders after both failed to appear in the court despite non-bailable arrest warrants issued against them.
It is also important to note that there are several reliable reports that suggest that the Musharraf government, back when the Sharifs were in exile and their father died, was open to allowing the Sharif brothers to return for a short period of time to bury their father. However, the Sharifs refused because it would be seen that they were dealing with the same government they held illegal. In the end, their father was buried without his immediate family in the family graveyard. For many, this shows the Sharif clan’s disregard for personal relations as they are always trumped by political decisions.
I don’t have any property in London or Pakistan, Maryam
This is not the first time that Maryam made a controversial statement. In 2011, Maryam Nawaz had said during an interview with a local media outlet that she “does not own any properties in London or Pakistan”. “I live at my father’s house,” she said at the time, denying the veracity documents that purportedly detailed her ownership of property.
Later on, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the country’s top court has found Maryam’s property. Maryam Safdar is the real and ultimate beneficial owner of the Avenfield apartments. She never declared the ownership of these overseas properties, submitted fake documents and misled the Supreme Court, concluded the JIT in its report.
“It has been proved beyond doubt that Ms. Maryam Safdar had been the owner of Avenfield properties,” the JIT stated, adding that the documents submitted by the respondents are ‘fake and manipulated’.
It added that the analysis of the tax returns of Maryam – the political heir apparent of the Sharif family – shows that she had never declared the Avenfield apartments as her overseas properties.
While commenting on Maryam’s tweet, Haroon Rasheed, a prominent analyst, also lamented that “it was not the government’s responsibility to bring her grandmother’s demise’s news into her notice”. It was unfair to blame the government, he added.