LAHORE - Following the Panama verdict of interim nature, political career of Maryam Nawaz Sharif is likely to enter a new phase which is open to groom her into a seasoned politician.

Maryam has so far shown a strong penchant for politics. She has been practicing politics from the sideline, reservedly and behind her father, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is now up against perhaps the most difficult period of his political career. She has been much successful in discharging the given obligations and now she appears stepping into a new period of politics where the observers find her playing a pivotal role.

The past shows Maryam Nawaz as a family figure of the Sharifs playing a significant part at the trying moments whether it was time of the election campaign or the prime minister’s long stay in London for open-heart surgery or the PML-N media office in Islamabad or the present nerves-wrecking situation.

In the course of Dawn leaks inquiry, she also witnessed testing movement and proved her mettle well. After the court denied her the headship of youth loan scheme in 2014, Maryam continued to help her father, which benefited her to understand business of the state. Maryam showed leadership traits when she accompanied the prime minister on his US visit last year. Her confidence and zeal to serve the people and educational programme for women in Pakistan much impressed the then US first lady Mashal Obama.

Maryam was also seen chairing the party meetings and interacting with foreign missions side by side taking care of the party interests against the opposition tirade. Of late, her principal channel of communication is social media she has been very effectively using to counter the rivals and defend the party stance on different issues. Maryam has been ranked fifth among the 100 influential daughters in the world.

The Panama Leaks case is still in progress and the current order of the court to seek JIT probe is the way to reach the final verdict, experts say. Although Maryam’s name was mentioned as being ‘trustee’ of offshore companies of the Sharifs, the court has not passed any direction regarding her joining the JIT probe.

The apparent reason, being the matter in hand, is of money trail for the purchase of London flats of the Sharifs and their source of money and not ownership or trusteeship which is already established. The court has required Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his two sons to join the JIT probe which has to be completed within two months. What the court has directed would be implemented while political temperature is rising as the opposition parties are demanding resignation from the prime minister to ensure the fair inquiry. Barring MI, all other departments required to appoint their men as the JIT members are subordinate to the prime minister and answerable to him. How would they question their boss and even if they do so, what would the PM feel as head of the government and leader of the house as well as chief of the cabinet with all powers of sensitive nature? In this situation, the person who could be of the best help to the prime minister to share his burden and counter the opposition on the political front is Maryam Nawaz, the observers opine.