Maryam Nawaz, the dazzling and determined daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has taken Punjab by storm, becoming its new political icon. Her name blazes through the headlines every day, captivating the nation’s attention and sparking endless curiosity. How did the daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, once living a quiet life, rise to become a powerful force in Pakistan’s turbulent political landscape? Maryam’s journey is a thrilling saga of resilience, bold defiance, and an unyielding determination to carve her path amidst the storm of Pakistani politics. Her story is not just about inheriting a legacy but about forging her own destiny with unwavering passion and fierce resolve.

Maryam Nawaz was born into one of Pakistan’s most influential political families. She was accustomed to the country’s political environment from a young age. However, her early life was relatively private compared to her later public persona. Maryam married Muhammad Safdar Awan, a retired military officer and a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), in 1992. The couple has three children. Her role as a wife and mother was central to her life during this period, and she was known for her dedication to her family. Before stepping into politics Maryam Nawaz was deeply engaged in overseeing her family’s philanthropic and business ventures. She played key roles in several charitable organizations, including the Sharif Trust, which operates institutions like Sharif Medical City and Sharif Education Institutes. Her involvement in these endeavors illustrated her effective leadership skills and steadfast dedication to promoting social causes.

Though not in the political limelight, Maryam occasionally appeared in public during significant family and political events. She was known for supporting her father’s political endeavors and contributing to re-election campaigns. Her involvement in these activities gradually increased her visibility and influence within the PML-N.

Maryam Nawaz’s political career surged forward in 2012 as she fervently spearheaded the election campaign for the 2013 general elections. Her hard work and determination earned her the position of Chairperson of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme in 2013, where she poured her heart into empowering the nation’s youth. However, her term was unexpectedly terminated in 2014 due to legal challenges against her appointment in the Lahore High Court, leading to her resignation. This setback, however, only fueled her resolve to fight harder and continue her ascent in the political arena.

In 2016, Maryam Nawaz captured the nation’s attention when her father, then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, underwent open-heart surgery in the UK. Choosing not to accompany him, Maryam stayed back in Pakistan and took responsibility of the leading party. With unwavering dedication, she kept the nation informed about her father’s condition, using her Twitter account to provide timely updates and reassurance. Her strength and composure during this personal and national crisis highlighted her resilience and commitment to her family’s legacy and the country’s stability.

Despite receiving a PML-N ticket for the 2018 general elections, she was sentenced to 7 years in prison in the Aven field case, disqualifying her from politics for 10 years. Maryam didn’t give up hope. She appealed her punishment and the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday acquitted party leader Maryam Nawaz declaring the case against her to be false and baseless.

On November 19, 2019, Nawaz Sharif was diagnosed with an immune system disorder and left for the UK for his detailed checkup after getting bail, returning to Pakistan fully recovered, in October 2023. While he was away, Maryam became more involved in politics, becoming PML-N’s vice president in 2019. She criticized and led rallies against Imran Khan’s government and his policies. Her passport was confiscated during her son’s wedding. In September 2022, her corruption conviction was overturned, allowing her to run for office again. She got her passport back and went to London to be with her father.

On January 3, 2023, Maryam was appointed senior vice president of PML-N and Chief Organizer by Shehbaz Sharif. This marked a significant shift in the party’s dynamics and raised questions about its future direction, but Maryam Nawaz proved herself with unwavering determination, heartfelt commitment, and inspiring resilience. With Nawaz Sharif’s planned return in October, she emphasized his economic revival plans and organized rallies to welcome him back.

On January 12, 2024, Maryam embarked on a journey filled with hope and determination as she filed her nomination papers for the PML-N, marking her debut in the elections. With a mix of excitement and nerves, she awaited the results, knowing the significance of this moment for her accomplishment, overcoming the challenges posed by PTI-backed candidates. Despite PTI’s claims of her defeat in PP-159, the Lahore High Court’s dismissal of petitions alleging result manipulation brought a sense of relief.

Following the election, Maryam became the sixth member of the Sharif family to be elected to parliament. She was later nominated by the PML-N as its candidate for Chief Minister of Punjab. Consequently, she relinquished her seat in NA-119 (Lahore-III) but retained her seat in PP-159 (Lahore-XV) to assume the role of Punjab’s chief minister.

On February 25, 2024, Maryam submitted her nomination papers for the position with a mix of excitement and determination. The next day, she was elected unopposed as the 20th Chief Minister of Punjab, securing 220 votes. Later that day, she took the oath of office, her heart swelling with pride and emotion, as she became Pakistan’s first-ever female chief minister and the fourth member of the Sharif family to hold the position.

Her victory was especially significant, as no woman had held a top federal or provincial government position since Benazir Bhutto. For her supporters, Maryam’s rise to this historic role symbolizes a powerful overcoming of patriarchal norms and a bold step forward for gender equality in Pakistani politics, filling them with hope and inspiration.

As she delivered her maiden speech, she felt a mix of eagerness to serve and apprehension about the challenges ahead. Despite the opposition’s accusations and challenges, Maryam remained steadfast in her commitment to serving the people of Punjab and bringing positive change to the region.

Maryam Nawaz’s journey symbolizes resilience and determination, from her steadfast support for her father to her emergence as a formidable political force. Despite facing criticism and legal challenges, she remains unwavering in her commitment to serving Pakistan and honoring her family’s legacy. As she assumes the role of Punjab’s Chief Minister, her heart brims with hope and determination, fueled by a deep sense of responsibility. Her ascent serves as a beacon of inspiration for women across Pakistan, embodying the transformative power of perseverance in the face of adversity.


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