ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, on Wednesday appeared before the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Sharif family's business dealings abroad.
Maryam was accompanied by husband Captain Safdar, brothers Hassan and Hussain, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, the PM's Special Assistant Asif Kirmani and female capital police officers, to the JIT secretariat. A number of PML-N workers, especially from the party's women wing, had also turned up near the FJA to show support for Maryam.
Later, while addressing a press conference outside the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) in Islamabad after recording her statement before the JIT, the first daughter appeared composed, but sternly dismissed reporters' questions multiple times during her speech.
"I answered whatever questions they [the JIT] asked me ... I tried to answer with honesty," she claimed. "I asked the JIT what the accusation against us [the Sharif family] is. They had no answer to my question," she claimed.
She took particular issue with the JIT's probe into her family's private businesses, saying nobody had a right to look into the private accounts of the Sharif family's businesses.
"If public money was involved, then we are answerable, but that is not the case regarding private businesses," she said. "Those who have cases of misuse of public funds open against them have petitioned for stay orders. We [however] can justify our properties and have been doing so," she claimed.
"Why are those who have no businesses and no source of income not being questioned," she asked, making a veiled reference to PTI chief Imran Khan, who was also accused by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar of owning wealth beyond his means.
"They thought my father would be pressured by using his daughter's name," she said. "Those who think Nawaz Sharif's daughter is his weakness will find she is his strength."
"Those who have no regard for daughters and family values will never understand these things," she added, in what appeared to be another attack aimed at Imran Khan. "If you are targeting me because I am Nawaz Sharif's daughter, I will fight back because I am his daughter."
"We could have taken immunity and hidden, we could have absconded from the courts and gone to Nathia Gali, but we presented ourselves for accountability."
The prime minister's daughter also warned her father's detractors that they should fear the day PM Sharif brings out the skeletons from their closets. "The secrets he carries and the conspiracies against him — don't push him to the point where he must reveal those," she said.
"If you conspire against Nawaz Sharif, he will return stronger than before... He will become PM for the fourth, fifth time. Stop him if you can," she challenged.
"Stop him or the power crisis will end. Stop him or the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be completed. Stop him or he will win the 2018 election." The PM's daughter is the eighth member of the Sharif family to be summoned by the JIT.