ISLAMABAD: Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the daughter of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, made a fashion statement during Friday’s appearance before an accountability court by wearing a tunic depicting a picture of her father alongside the words, “Release Nawaz Sharif.”
Sharif was convicted and jailed for seven years in December after failing to prove the source of income that had led to his ownership of a steel mill in Saudi Arabia. Under Pakistani law, this is taken to prove corruption.
Maryam was appearing before the Islamabad accountability court for the hearing of a petition filed by the National Accountability Bureau against her for presenting a fake trust deed during the Avenfield case, which revolves around the Sharif’s family’s purchase of upscale London flats. In July last year, Maryam, widely seen as Sharif’s chosen political heir, was sentenced to seven years in prison in the case and was disqualified from contesting the 2018 general elections. She is currently out on bail.
On Friday, a poised Maryam stepped out of her car outside the court in a long black tunic depicting the same photo of her father and a slogan calling for his release that she is currently using as the display photo for her official Twitter handle. The outfit has been designed by fashion designer Hina Butt, who is also a parliamentarian from Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN).
“Feeling proud, as the designer of the outfit @MaryamNSharif is wearing today,” Butt said on twitter. “She’s indeed the epitome of defiance and determination in Pakistan politics today.”
Maryam replied to Butt’s tweet, saying others should also wear the tunic “until justice has been served.”
Earlier this month, Maryam presented a video at a specially called news conference in which Arshad Malik, a senior judge on the accountability court, is ostensibly seen telling a member of the PMLN party that unidentified individuals had confronted him with compromising video footage to pressure him into convicting Sharif. Malik has called the video fake and denies Maryam’s allegations.
Last Friday, Malik was sacked from his position as a judge of the accountability court, throwing many of his past verdicts into question and prompting immediate calls by the PMLN for the release of the 69-year-old Sharif from prison.
On Friday, many Twitter users appreciated Maryam’s bold fashion statement.
Wafad Hussayn posted a photo of Maryam’s clothes and wrote: “Such a Courageous, Committed, focused and brave lady.”
“A picture of resistance, defiance against tyrants ruling Pakistan,” Ali Axhar said about Maryam’s outfit.
Others cracked jokes about the outfit, saying the font on it was Calibri typeset, referring to Maryam becoming a subject of ridicule in 2017 after documents claiming she was only a trustee of the companies that bought the Avenfield London flats, dated February 2006, appeared to be typed in Microsoft Calibri. The font was only made commercially available in 2007, leading to suspicions that the documents had been forged.
“Apparently, that text, ”FREE NAWAZ SHARIF” on Maryam’s shirt is printed in Calibri font,” Mian Nemat Ullah wrote.