The case of Mariam Nawaz Sharif: Of Pakistani Elite’s Sons and Daughters



RAWALPINDI, PakistanFirst it was Arsalan Iftikhar, then Farah Dogar and now something has surfaced against Mariam Nawaz Sharif.

This takes me back to General Zia era, when a politician close to him had requested him for the favor of admitting his daughter in the Army Medical College which had sixty seats.

Zia sent her application to General Mirza Aslam Beg – then VCOAS with the remarks to accommodate her, who forwarded it to Major General Waheed Kakar the then Adjutant General (AG) for the ‘necessary action’. Gen Kakar, however, returned the file with the remarks “Regret, she doesn’t come up to the merit”.

On his next routine visit to the GHQ, Gen. Zia just walked unannounced into the office of the AG and confronted him with the application saying, “I am sure, there must be a way out to admit her”. Gen. Kakar, true to his reputation, stood his ground saying, ‘Sir, under the rules I cannot. However, if you order it, I will admit her”. General Zia, probably resigning to the inevitable, started moving slowly towards the door but before reaching it turned back and asked where she stood on the merit list. “Sir, she is 79th and we have only 60 seats”, answered the AG.

With a flash rising to the occasion, he ordered, “Increase the intake to 80 from this year” and walked out triumphantly. Rules were not violated and yet the ego vindicated.

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd) is based in Rawalpindi. His commentary is appears frequently in several national Pakistani dailies. He can be reached at jafri AT rifiela. com