PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz admitted to running the media cell, during PML-N’s tenure, a feat she denied earlier. Her confession came during a press briefing on the ongoing issue of Saqib Nisar’s leaked audio clip, Wednesday.
Important to note, earlier, an audiotape of Maryam Nawaz leaked where she is deciding which TV channel would get government advertisement when she was heading PML-N’s media cell. In the audio clip, Maryam Nawaz said that 92 News, ARY News, Channel 24 News, and SAMAA News will not receive ads.
— Mumtaz Shigri ممتازشگری (@MumtazShigri12) November 24, 2021
Regarding this, during her Wednesday conference, a reporter questioned Maryam Nawaz about the authenticity of her leaked audio clip.
Maryam replied to the question saying that she will not deny that the voice is hers or say it has been “fabricated”.
“I ran the party’s media cell at that time and it is an old audio clip,” she said. Needless to say, her revelations sparked controversy as back in 2017, Maryam denied that she had any media cell.
“My media cell? Ah, I don’t have any media cell. This is propaganda that is spreading on purpose. What media cell? I don’t run any media cell,” Maryam Nawaz had said.
کیا کہیں گے اس بارے میں pic.twitter.com/INynkOpnR9
— Sabir Shakir (@ARYSabirShakir) November 24, 2021
Reaction to Maryam Nawaz’s confession
Following Maryam’s remarks, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb clarified that the PML-N vice president was talking about party advertisements in the audio clip. She also urged the media not to create an issue out of this.
On the other hand, federal ministers Fawad Chaudhry and Hammad Azhar held a press conference, where they informed the media that government will conduct an investigation in this regard.
Chaudhry said that Maryam committed a crime by handling PML-N’s media cell and misusing public funds. He clarified that a private person handling public funds is a crime under the jurisdiction of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). He also highlighted Maryam Nawaz’s disqualification at that time under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
“An investigation will be held in this regard and details will be shared with the media,” he said.
مریم نواز نے بڑے چینلز کے اشتہارات کنٹرول کرنے کا اعتراف کیا ہے، یہ سنگین مالی بے ضابطگیوں کا ایک اور اعتراف ہے، کہتی ہیں میں پارٹی کا میڈیا سیل چلا رہی تھی،اس اعترافی بیان کے بعد امید ہے وہ اپنی اور خاندان کی بیرون ملک جائیدادوں کا اعتراف بھی کر لیں گی ۔۔۔ قوم چشم براہ ہے
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) November 24, 2021
Furthermore, the Minister said Maryam’s admission proved that the PML-N carried out ‘systematic manipulation’ of the media during its last tenure.
Similarly, Hammad Azhar termed the orders by Maryam in the audio as “fascism.” Azhar also said the PML-N vice-president’s confession is “enough to open the eyes of journalists”.
Meanwhile, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that Maryam Nawaz finally said “something truthful”.
“Point is on what authority she gave these orders? Did she assume [Nawaz Sharif] was running his personal kingdom where she as his daughter could pass official orders?” she asked on her Twitter.
Chalo finally she has said something truthful! Point is on what authority did she give these orders? Did she assume NS was running his personal kingdom where she as his daughter could pass official orders? pic.twitter.com/qlWshgjDj0
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) November 24, 2021