Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, has said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) vice-President Maryam Nawaz has no worldview or a vision to run this country. “We all know that Maryam Nawaz has no vision. What is her qualification?” asked Fawad while speaking with Mohammad Malick in a live talk show.
Fawad explained that “no senior leader in PML-N has any say” and “Maryam Nawaz dictates everyone in the party”. Senior leaders like Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal sit silently and listen to what Maryam tells them, he added.
Some analysts and PML-N leaders are of the view that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz have decided to challenge the establishment for the sake of civilian supremacy in Pakistan. The argument relies on the recent speeches of the former Premier and his daughter’s tweets. “You see there is a different Nawaz now. You cannot stop him now,” a PML-N worker told GVS.
Nawaz’s family-centric approach
Nawaz Sharif has been in Pakistan politics for the last more than three decades; he was made the CM Punjab in the 1980s and later on the country’s prime minister. However, due to some personal and organizational lapse of his party, he failed to complete his tenure in the office. Nawaz was ousted from his office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2017 as he “was no longer honest and truthful”.
Nawaz’s political model is often termed as family-centric due to its inherent dynastic posture. Despite the fact that Maryam Nawaz has no vision, she and Hamza are said to be the political hires of revolutionary Nawaz, who claims to overthrow the existing system.
Why is Maryam Nawaz unhappy?
A source in PML-N claimed that Maryam’s outrage is primarily due to the case recently registered in Lahore. According to the details, a piece of land measuring over 3,568 Kanals was bought by the Sharif family in 2013. The largest part of the property, 1,936 Kanals, was transferred in the name of Nawaz’s mother Shamim Bibi. The land that was transferred to Maryam was 1,440 Kanals. A 96-Kanal plot each was also transferred to Nawaz and Shahbaz.
The sources claimed most of the land was government land which the Sharif family illegally got transferred in their name at cheap rates. Moreover, only the LDA had the authority to deal with such matters but the Sharif family involved local government officials. The property was declared as green land to stop construction around the Sharif family’s Jati Umra mansions.
Personalized political parties in Pakistan
Notably, dynastic politics has been one of the many causes behind the lack of democracy in Pakistan. All mainstream political parties—except JI and PTI—have a fundamental rule; the party belongs to one family. Scholars working on democratization in Pakistan have pointed out Nawaz’s political evolution is another reminder of elite and personalized politics in the country.
Maleeha Lodhi in her book Beyond the Crisis State notes that: “the personalized nature of politics is closely related to the dominant position enjoyed throughout Pakistan’s history by a narrowly-based political elite that was feudal and tribal in origin and has remained so in outlook even as it gradually came to share power with well-to-do urban groups. The latter is epitomized by the rise of Mian Nawaz Sharif who came from a mercantile background. While different in social origin and background, members of this power elite share a similar ‘feudal-tribal’ style of conducting politics: personalized, based on ‘primordial’ social hierarchies, characterized by patronage seeking activity and preoccupied with protecting and promoting their economic interests and privileged status”.