Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ex-wife Jemima recently got into a Twitter brawl after Khan mocked Nawaz’s son. It all started when Khan while giving a speech at an election rally launched an attack on his opponent Nawaz’s party by insinuating corruption charges. However, the route taken by him was rather puzzling.
Imran Khan referring to the pictures of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif attending his grandson’s (Maryam’s son Junaid) polo match in London remarked, “The poor go to jail and the powerful (Nawaz Sharif) get NRO (deal) to go abroad and watch his grandson’s polo match.”
“The common man cannot play polo — a kings’ sport. You need a lot of money to keep a horse and play polo. So tell us where this dear grandson got this money from. It’s the people’s money,” Khan added.
Maryam Nawaz, who is also running her party’s election campaign extensively in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir region was quick to rebut. In an equally puzzling remark, Maryam rebuked, “My son (Junaid) is the polo team captain (for Cambridge University) and is bringing honour to Pakistan. He is Nawaz Sharif’s grandson, not Goldsmith’s and he is not being raised in the lap of Jews.”
Maryam defended her jibe at Khan (which was actually an attack on his ex-wife Jemima and her children) by saying that she did not want to bring children into it, but Khan’s comment needed a ‘befitting reply.’
Interestingly, Maryam’s “befitting reply” was also a sample of blatant antisemitism that is considered normal in Pakistan. Pakistani politicians, even the educated and well-travelled ones, for some reason, consider it ok to popularise racial hatred against Jews.
“You have only your ex to blame” said Maryam
Unsurprisingly, Jemima was quick to call out Maryam’s anti-Semitic remark on Twitter. “My kids are ‘being raised in the lap of the Jews’, announced @MaryamNSharif today. I left Pakistan in 2004 after a decade of antisemitic attacks by the media & politicians (& weekly death threats & protests outside my house). But still it continues,” she wrote.
My kids are “being raised in the lap of the Jews,” announced @MaryamNSharif today.— Jemima Goldsmith (@Jemima_Khan) July 19, 2021
I left Pakistan in 2004 after a decade of antisemitic attacks by the media & politicians (& weekly death threats & protests outside my house). But still it continues https://t.co/TGjUxfT1gC
This pinched Maryam who later that day responded to Jemima’s tweet, saying, “I have absolutely no interest in you, your sons or your personal lives because I have better things to do and say but if your ex (Imran Khan) drags in families of others out of spite, others will have nastier things to say. You have only your ex to blame.”
I have absolutely no interest in you, your sons or your personal lives because I have better things to do and say but if your ex drags in families of others out of spite, others will have nastier things to say. You have only your ex to blame. https://t.co/DxoUqwjoTn— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) July 20, 2021
While the two ended the fight there, Maryam got called out by the netizens for her anti-Semitic and personal comments. “Maryam Nawaz’s attacks against you and your kids were extremely disgraceful. People of Pakistan have nothing but respect for your family. Hope this pushback will be a lesson to those who continue to use bigotry against political opponents,” said a user in support of Jemima.
Maryam Nawaz’ attacks against you and your kids were extremely disgraceful. People of Pakistan have nothing but respect for your family. Hope this pushback will be a lesson to those who continue to use bigotry against political opponents.— Ammar Ali Jan (@ammaralijan) July 19, 2021
The rivalry between the trio is not new. Jemima in 2017 when Sharif was deposed by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case had tweeted: “Good riddance to the man who tried to get me jailed when I was pregnant with my 2nd child on trumped-up non-bailable charges of smuggling.”
“In politics, such things are not uncommon”
As per reports, when a member of Khan’s party was asked about the need to attack Maryam’s son, he said, “Imran Khan had targeted Maryam and Sharifs only because the latter was continuously using offensive language about the premier. He had to say something; in politics, such things are not uncommon.”
On the other hand, Maryam’s party spokesperson pinned the blame on Khan calling him frustrated. “Dragging Maryam’s son in the controversy only shows Imran Khan’s frustration, who is not happy to see people’s response to his party’s public meetings in AJK, and reflected his mentality,” said the spokesperson.