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ISLAMABAD: Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former premier Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president, on Wednesday said that discussions on political issues should be held in the parliament, not at the General Headquarters (GHQ).

“I don’t know about a dinner, may be it was not a dinner. I also heard about it. But what I understand is that it [meeting] was called to discuss the issue of Gilgit-Baltistan, which is a political issue, an issue of the people’s representatives, for them to solve and deliberate upon…These decisions should be made in the Parliament, not in the GHQ,” she said in response to media queries after appearing at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for a hearing of an appeal against her conviction in the Avenfield property reference.

She was speaking in reference with the last week meeting of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and Director Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed with parliamentary leaders, which was also attended by the PML-N President, Shehbaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif, and Ahsan Iqbal.

Responding to a question whether party’s Quaid Nawaz Sharif was aware of the meeting and party leaders attended the meeting with his approval, she said: “I don’t know whether he [Nawaz Sharif] was aware of it or not, or if he learnt of it later. But the political leadership should neither be called nor should they go [to GHQ] for discussion on such issues…Whoever wishes to discuss these issues, they should come to the Parliament.”

Asked whether the party had reached a “settlement” since speeches of Nawaz Sharif and others were broadcast live during the recently held multi-parties conference of the opposition, she said: “You tell me, why are you [media] telecasting our speeches?…[it’s] because oppression and pressure tactics work to a certain extent, not forever.”

To another query whether Khawaja Asif also raised the issue of rigging in the 2018 general elections during the meeting with the military leadership, she did not give further detail, saying the rigging had already taken place three months before the elections.

In response to another question whether Shehbaz Sharif was going to launch his own party, Maryam said that Shehbaz Sharif was a “very loyal brother” and would never go for his own way, adding that Shehbaz would have been the prime minister, if he had to go on his own way.

“Shehbaz Sharif gives preference to his brother for the [leading] role,” she added.

Earlier, Maryam Nawaz was mistakenly struck by one of her security guards with elbow on her shoulder, when he tried to control the crowd of the party’s supporters who had gathered outside the court premises to receive her.

On her way from Murree to Islamabad, the PML-N’s vice president was warmly received by party workers who had set up welcoming camps in her way.

She was greeted by a large number of party supports in Bhara Kahu, who showered rose petals on her vehicle.

Maryam thanked the party supporters appearing from her car.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020