It was reported by Dawn News that Junaid Safdar, son of Maryam Nawaz and #CaptSafdar will launch his political career soon by addressing several corner meetings while in Pakistan. Last Junaid was in the news, he was arrested following a brawl with PTI workers following the emotional departure of his mother and grandfather, NawazSharif for Pakistan. He was later released and is currently in Pakistan to meet his family.
Junaid is currently a student of politics at a UK university. However, it came as no surprise we weren’t concerned with his credentials.
Entertainment media companies were quick to pick up on Junaid Safdar’s pictures, which boast of a luxurious lifestyle in London. One thing is for sure, whether it is the infamous chaiwala or the grandson of a disgraced ex-PM, we have shown how quick we are to get smitten by appearances alone. Back when Bilawal Bhutto first came into the limelight as Benazir Bhutto’s son, the narrative was quite similar. Pictures of his time at Oxford were quick to be circulated and many focused just on his looks. Of course, the narrative since then has taken a completely different trajectory.
More pertinent to the election fever here then is the developing narrative of generational politics in Pakistan.
PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto is already taking the lead as the foreign educated, returning patriot, ready to advance his grandfather’s legacy. And now, we will perhaps see Junaid following a similar narrative of dynastic politics in the Sharif family. Of course, the key difference is that Junaid’s mother, Maryam, unlike Bilawal’s mother Benazir, is still just beginning her own political legacy. Benazir was already a seasoned politician before her son was brought into the limelight. Of course, Benazir’s untimely demise when she was assassinated in 2007, automatically meant that Bilawal would come up soon after. In Junaid’s case, Maryam’s prison sentence is perhaps the opportune time to launch her son into politics as the fresh face of PML-N. The combination of dynastic politics and sympathy votes is a tried and tested method to advance political agendas in Pakistan.
The only concern is that merit must not be compromised in cases such as that of Junaid Safdar.
The upcoming generation of politicians has a different view of politics. They are more in touch with the demands of the different classes and certainly more vocal about them, at least in theory. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether the grand ideas actually turn into policies in the work of the upcoming generations. Most importantly, here is hoping that Junaid Safdar’s entry into politics does not take away the chances of someone perhaps more deserving to serve the nation. And, the only way to ensure that is to hold accountable every politician on the basis of their policies, actions, and endorsements. Whether they be the fourth generation of a leading political party or an independent candidate, who have vowed to serve the public and not vice-versa.