The vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Maryam Nawaz Sharif recently paid a visit to the flood-stricken Taunsa to sympathise with flood victims. Dressed in an all-black shalwar kameez, she was accompanied by her husband Captain Safdar, other party leaders and about 60 security cars.
On Monday, the Vice President’s “candid” pictures from the visit drew ire for their uncanny resemblance to Angelina Jolie’s pictures from her visit to Pakistan in 2010. The pictures, posted by Nawaz on Twitter, see her interact with the flood victims and on occasion, hug them. “Heart-wrenching,” she captioned her tweet.
Soon after, social media users started trolling her for “using people’s grief and sorrow as a photo-op for her PR strategy” and called the execution a “rip-off of the 2010 Jolie visit to Pakistan.”
Social media users pointed toward Nawaz’s choice of clothes, the angles of her photos, the “misuse of taxpayer’s money” and even called her out for leaving an “insensitive carbon footprint,” by bringing a dozen cars, security personnel, motorcycles, and more ironically to her visit in light of a calamity caused by climate change.
Infuriated, users became further enraged when a video of one of the flood victims surfaced. The victim alleged that “Maryam didn’t give anything, just hugged people for a photo session and left.”
A user shared a collage of Angelina and Maryam on Twitter and wrote, “Cheap third class copy of Angelina Jolie is roaming around in Pakistan. The whole family is desperately trying to be British. Shame on her. Maryam Nawaz went to meet flood-affected people of south Punjab with full protocol. Please fear God.”
Another commented on how “shameless” her protocol was. “Maryam Nawaz’s protocol/cavalcade comprising 63 cars for photo ops in Taunsa is shameless and shows the complexes of the woman and the Sharifs that come with the looted and plundered money, not hard-earned or inherited.”
#MaryamNawaz’s protocol/calvacade comprising 63 cars for photo ops in #Taunsa is shameless & shows the complexes of the woman & #Sharifs that come with the looted & plundered money not hard earned or inherited. On the top of she doesn’t hold any public office. #FloodsInPakistan
— Saima Khan (@cymakhan0) August 29, 2022
Shocked at the blatant insensitivity in such tough times, a user wrote, “Can’t believe she spent crores of rupees on official protocol just to have a photo shoot like Angelina Jolie with the flood victims. It’s very unfortunate indeed to keep feeding elites on taxpayers’ money.”
A tweep shared a video where Maryam continuously hugs a woman while a woman is seen clicking pictures on her left. “They pretend in front of people that they care. But people don’t know that they are just doing politics.”
For another user, the situation was painfully funny. “It’s laughable. Seriously? More than 32 million people lost their houses, and families, and have no access to basic human needs and this woman here is worried about aesthetics. Trying so hard to be Angelina. Grow up. What are you? 12?”
It’s laughable. Seriously ? More than 32 million people lost their houses , families , have no access to basic human needs and this woman here is worried about aesthetics . Trying so hard to be Angelina.Grow up .What are you ? 12 ? #AngelinaJolie #MaryamNawaz pic.twitter.com/fVePvyMFJF
— YourGuro 🇵🇰🇴🇲 (@notyour_guro) August 30, 2022
Commenting on her groomed appearance, a user questioned how much she actually contributed to the cause. “You took so much protocol for just four pictures. Please share how much did you actually donate from your own pocket? Maryam Nawaz, we are sure that you spent two days in the salon for your acrylics and microblading before these pictures and that too from tax money.”
Itna Protocol le k gyien theen aap Bibi bus ye 4 pics k liay ,plz share how much u donate from ur own pocket ? #MaryamNawaz 2 din tu i think u spend in Salon for Acrylics and Microblading😠😡😡 https://t.co/Fe5QUTBcIx
— SANA SHAHZADI (@SANASHA38225454) August 29, 2022
Another user pointed out how nothing has changed in the 12 years that passed since the last devastating floods.
Angelina Jolie in 2010 and Maryam Nawaz in 2022, nothing has changed in 12 years. No preparedness, poor response, slowed recovery & rehab, and no prevention to minimize the impacts of future disasters. The cycle has just been repeated!
— Khizer Hayat Khan (@iKhizerHayat) August 29, 2022
“Angelina Jolie in 2010 and Maryam Nawaz in 2022, nothing has changed in 12 years. No preparedness, there’s poor response, slowed recovery and rehab, and no prevention to minimise the impacts of future disasters. The cycle has just been repeated! History repeated itself.”