Dhaka, Bangladesh
Maryam’s mandate

What others say

Maryam’s mandate

If America has Ivanka Trump its on-off-on partner Pakistan has Maryam Nawaz Sharif. Not only did she help manage the election campaign that brought her father to power, she has since grown in reputation as a trusted and influential adviser. Now that the prime minister is embattled in the so-called Panama Papers corruption scandal, his daughter has also emerged as his defender number 1. Even as a joint investigation team seeks to establish money laundering charges against the first family, the telegenic first daughter with an MA in English literature, a biggish youth connect and around 3.5 million Twitter followers avows the whole case “will not only be contested but decimated” in the Supreme Court. Of course her name is very much in the Panama Papers too, something the opposition is fully milking, hoping it will “kill” any aspirations to perpetuate the Sharif dynasty – through her at any rate. But South Asians know well that a setback or two or ten can be just political rehearsal for promising young dynasts. First daughters like Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto trod quite a few heated coals before ascending in their father’s place – even though they would likely not have been allowed as many fresh starts as first sons like Rahul Gandhi or Bilawal Bhutto. Meanwhile the Maryam bulwark is holding firm, giving the doughty warning that “those who think Nawaz Sharif’s daughter is his weakness will find she is his strength.” — The Times of India

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