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Maryam Nawaz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, has emerged as a major political figure and, being watched very closely.
She made an entry into politics during in 2013, but was not taken seriously. She is now – for her stunningly looks and appealing personality.
The arrival of Maryam Nawaz Sharif over the last five years as a front-line player in politics some find hard to accept: it’s still a male chauvinistic world. But she can’t be ignored.
She married young and is relatively free the age of 40 with her children grown up. Whether or not she would have joined politics earlier had she not been pushed into so doing in the run-up to the 2013 election is moot. But her passion for politics today is visible and indicates she’s ready to step into her father’s shoes.
Maryum Nawaz Sharif was born on October 28, 1974 and was married to Captain Safdar Awan, who worked with her father, when she was barely out of her teens. Before this, she had aspired to become a doctor but that was not destined to be. She was pushed into early wedlock instead.
She stepped in to help Nawaz Sharif when the cards appeared stacked against him but was soon disqualified as the prime minister’s youth loan programmer. Many analysts believe that was when she decided to enter the political mainstream.
She emerged as “a crowd-puller” on delivering sharp retorts to her father’s opponents. She then created a ‘core group’ to hit back even harder at them. With this, her influence widened to be where she is today: a lady on the move.
Maryum Nawaz can’t be compared to the late Benazir Bhutto, whose academic credentials were impeccable with her Oxford and Harvard background, but Maryum is also a woman – and, she speaks the national language much more naturally than Benazir ever did.
This makes her as appealing to a section of Pakistan society. But whether she has enough acumen in her to ascend to the highest rung of the political ladder is undetermined: it ultimately depends on the establishment’s view of her.
All that is visible at the moment is that Maryum Nawaz is making waves – and, being watched very closely.