HomeAsiaPakistan's Ex-PM Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Nawaz becomes first female provincial chief minister

Pakistan’s Ex-PM Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Nawaz becomes first female provincial chief minister

Pakistan’s Ex-PM Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Nawaz becomes first female provincial chief minister

Islamabad, PAKISTAN (EFE) – Maryam Nawaz, the eldest daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, made history by becoming the first female chief minister of a Pakistani province on Monday.

Mariam Nawaz, 50, defeated her rival, Rana Aftab, in a 220-0 vote during a televised assembly session in Lahore after the controversial Feb. 8 general elections.

The fiery female politician thus closely followed in the footsteps of her father, who began his political career as the chief minister of Punjab in 1985, marking the beginning of a political dynasty that now includes his daughter.

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“Maryam Nawaz Sharif is elected the chief minister of Punjab,” Speaker Malik Ahmad Khan announced.

In her victory speech, Maryam Nawaz wryly thanked her opponents, “who put me in difficulties, which included death cells, solitary confinements, years of court visits without a crime, incarceration of my father, and the death of the mother.”

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Newly elected members of the provincial assembly take the oath during a ceremony at the Punjab Assembly in Lahore, Pakistan, 23 February 2024. EFE-EPA/STRINGER

“But despite all these difficulties, I feel indebted to my adversaries. They have done me many favors because they put me through a struggle that is second to none,” she said, asserting that she harbored no feelings for revenge in her heart.

Her rival, Aftab, was supported by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), an ally of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote and walked out.

Who is Maryam Nawaz ?

Maryam becomes the fourth member of her family to assume the role of Punjab chief minister, following her father Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shehbaz, and Shehbaz’s son Hamza, who briefly held the post last year.

Born in 1973, Maryam is the eldest among four siblings and initially remained distant from politics until 2013 when Nawaz became the prime minister for the third time. Subsequently, she emerged as the family’s apparent political heir while her brothers managed the family business.

Following Nawaz’s disqualification from the prime minister’s post in 2017 due to discrepancies in his asset declarations before the ECP, Maryam assumed a more prominent role within the party.

In 2017, Maryam was honored to be listed among the BBC’s 100 Women, a prestigious recognition of influential women globally. Additionally, she earned a place on The New York Times’ list of 11 Powerful Women Around the World for the year 2017, further highlighting her impactful presence on the international stage.

Maryam Nawaz’s Family

As per information available on Wikipedia, in 1992, Maryam married Safdar Awan at the age of 19 and adopted her husband’s surname, becoming Maryam Safdar. At the time of their marriage, Safdar was serving as a captain in the Pakistan Army and was also Nawaz Sharif’s security officer during his tenure as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Maryam Safdar and Safdar Awan have three children together: a son named Junaid, and two daughters named Mahnoor and Mehr-un-Nisa.

Maryam’s Panama Papers Link Sparks Controversy

Maryam’s involvement in the Panama Papers leak stirred controversy. On April 3, 2016, the Panama Papers were disclosed, implicating Maryam along with her two brothers, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz. Documents unearthed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed Maryam as the owner of the British Virgin Islands-based firms Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited.

She was also alleged to be the owner of properties in the United Kingdom jointly owned by her brothers. Maryam responded by refuting ownership of any company or property outside Pakistan. She clarified, “My brother has appointed me as a trustee in one of his corporations, which only allows me to distribute assets to my brother Hussain’s family/children if needed.”

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