PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on Thursday claimed that she was fed “rat-contaminated food” when she was incarcerated in the Punjab capital’s Kot Lakhpat Jail. In an informal conversation with journalists in Jati Umrah, Maryam Nawaz complained of the medication she was given in the prison, saying it was “not fit for use at all”. “I was forced to take fungus-infected medicines in prison,” she claimed.
جب میں جیل میں تھی تومجھےچوہوں کابچاہواکھاناکھلایاجاتاتھا،مریم نواز
— Geo News Urdu (@geonews_urdu) November 26, 2020
Speaking of her grandmother, Begum Shamim Akhtar, who had passed away aged 89 over the weekend, said that “my son, Junaid Safdar, had left Lahore for Peshawar to inform me,” she said, about her grandmother’s passing. There was no telephone contact at the PDM jalsa, Maryam added, saying she had told former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not to return to Pakistan.
How did Maryam Nawaz know yea kahna choohay ka bacha hua hai? Aur jail walay pehlay chuhoon ki dawat kartay thay kya?
— Adeel Raja (@adeelraja) November 26, 2020
It is important to note that 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.
The mother of PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, Begum Shamim Akhtar had developed a severe chest infection and was suffering from an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease. A week before her death, her condition had deteriorated and she was unable to regain her health due to old age.
Cameras were installed in her jail cell?
Notably, Maryam Nawaz has alleged that authorities installed cameras in her jail cell and bathroom. In a recent interview, the PML-N leader spoke about the alleged inconveniences she had to face when she was incarcerated after being arrested in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case last year.
“I have gone to jail twice and if I speak about how I, a woman, was treated in jail, they will not have the audacity to show their faces,” she said, referring to the government.
Maryam said that she was not talking about the ordeals she faced in jail as she “does not want to hide behind this” while she was struggling against the government. “Today, I do not want to cry and tell everyone that I have been unjustly treated,” she added.
Rats belonged to the Sharif family, Shahzad Akbar
Reacting to Maryam Nawaz’s comments, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior, Barrister Mirza Shahzad Akbar, denied her claims, saying it was a “matter of record that this woman did not eat jail food for a single day”.
“This woman’s food always came [prepared] from home,” Akbar said. “So either the rat belonged to the family or they are lying according to the ‘family tradition’.
“By the way, these rats seem to be quite ‘Sharif’ [innocent] that they leave food behind,” the PM’s adviser said, in a jibe at the family’s name.
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.