Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that Maryam Nawaz has assumed a leadership role in the party and needs her “space” to work.
Abbasi, a former prime minister, decided to step down after Maryam was elevated as the party’s senior vice-president and chief organiser by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is also the PML-N president.
The major decision, which was taken earlier this month during Maryam’s stay in London, made her the third most powerful figure in the party after her father, three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and her uncle PM Shehbaz.
During an interaction with journalists in Islamabad on Friday, Abbasi clarified: “I have resigned from my post but I stand by the party and will always be a part of it.”
The PML-N senior leader said: “She [Maryam] needs space, if we are there, there would be disagreement which is not suitable for anyone.”
He added that when the new generation comes, old people have to enter a new role.
Maryam’s elevation sparked a debate over dynastic politics in the country and questions were also raised about whether only people from within the family could reach top positions in the party.
Hitting back at critics, Abbasi — while talking on Geo News’ Shahzeb Khanzada — had said whether “people like it or not dynastic politics does not disqualify anyone”. “We should leave it to the people.”
Maryam, during a gathering in Bahawalpur earlier this week, had defended the dynastic politics and came down hard on those censuring her recent promotion.
“A lot of people are furious over dynastic [politics]. The nation’s love is not called a dynasty, it is a democracy,” she said.