ISLAMABAD – Maryam Safdar, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has said she does not feel safe in Pakistan and has been getting life threats for long.
Her statement follows the historic Avenfield properties judgment in which the 44-year-old was fined for Rs320 million and sentenced to seven years in prison for involvement in the corruption case that centred around the purchase of luxury flats in London. Her father and ousted PM, Nawaz Sharif was handed a 10-year term and Rs1.29 billion fine, while her husband Muhammad Safdar was sentenced to one year in prison.
Maryam, widely seen as Nawaz Sharif’s chosen political heir, said a group of people have asked her father to leave Pakistan and stay with her cancer-suffering mother, Kulsoom Nawaz, in the United Kingdom. But, she added: “I prefer not hearing these warnings and that is why I have been sentenced to 7-year-imprisonment.”
She was addressing a presser in London, a video of which was shared by the PML-N leader on the social media on Saturday. Maryam can be seen elaborating that those sending her messages believe that she had been instigating Nawaz Sharif against them.
The one message I received continuously was, ‘your mindset, speeches & statements are highly objectionable & you will have to pay for it.’ pic.twitter.com/nRSrVaNyRU
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) July 7, 2018
“Your mindset, speeches & statements are highly objectionable & you will have to pay for it,” warns one of the messages she said was sent to her.
“We have objection on your mindset, speeches and statements” the messages further said.
Maryam explained that the senders perhaps thought it was difficult to deal with her.
When asked if there is a threat to her life, she said, “Life has to come and go, one has to live for truth and stand against wrong.”
“I want the future generation to live in a Pakistan that is free of terror and fear. Each one should live with head held high not suppressed,” Maryam said, when asked why did she take a risk.
She also stated that “forces” have never been successful in breaking Sharif’s resolve in the face of adversity.
ڈرتے ہیں بندوقوں والے ایک نہتی لڑکی سے۔۔۔ pic.twitter.com/xdSEk2GBo3
— M AWAIS KIYANI (@MAWAISKIYANI) July 6, 2018
The Avenfield properties reference was one of three filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict against Nawaz in the Panama Papers case. The reference pertains to the ownership of the Sharif family’s apartments at Avenfield House, London.
Following the verdict, Maryam and Safdar stand barred from contesting the July general election from Lahore and Mansehra, respectively.
The Election Commission of Pakistan stated that Maryam’s name will be removed from the ballot papers of the NA-127 constituency after which new ballot papers will be printed.
The National Accountability Bureau plans to arrest Nawaz Sharif and his daughter upon their arrival to Pakistan. The anti-corruption watchdog will also get the arrest warrant of Capt (r) Safdar from the accountability court and then arrest him.
On the other hand, the ousted PM says he would not seek ayslum in the UK but return to Pakistan from London to appeal his conviction and sentence.