Female politicians have always inspired an aura among the Pakistani public and Maryam Nawaz is certainly not an exception. She has received polarising reactions, with those opposed endlessly mocking her tweeting, while supporters embrace her as a daughter of the country. Be it praise or criticism, Maryam Nawaz has attracted attention.

Certainly, PML-N has set its eyes on grooming Maryam to be a future leader. Her political image-building started even before 2013 when she was appointed as the election campaign in-charge of the party in Lahore. Since then, Maryam has attended important party meetings, spoken at rallies and received international exposure by attending meetings with Michelle Obama in 2015.

Accordingly, Maryam Nawaz has shown talent. She has proved popular among youth who sees her as a more relatable figure in a conservative party of old-liners. The hugely successful rally she lead on Beadon Road is indicative of her political talent. Running her mother’s campaign for NA 120 is Maryam Nawaz’s test for future leadership and in the play of politics, she has taken center stage.

However, a dark shadow presides over Ms. Nawaz’s political future and that is the JIT report, which targets her for presenting false evidence. Maryam was the subject of public ridicule after Fontgate and she has a reference filed in NAB for corruption charges. The Panama Papers case had many wondering if this was the end of her political ambitions.

Maryam’s rigorous campaigning is a sign that she will not allow herself to be dismissed from politics. Her passionate speeches calling for the people to uphold democracy are suggestive of a leader’s speech. However, Maryam should tread carefully in her steps due to her past blunders.

Her vulnerable position has not been unnoticed as it is a consistent attack of the opposition. In his rally on Friday, Imran Khan targeted Maryam asking her to justify her millionaire status at a young age. She has elicited controversial opinions among her party, with some seeing her as too inexperienced. Chaudhry Nisar himself disparaged comparisons between Benazir and Maryam, saying she still had to prove herself. Her speech in Sacred Heart Cathedral also received much criticism from Christian and non-Christian community alike.

Maryam Nawaz is walking a slippery slope towards qualification. Though her critics are many and harsh, she has shown the right ingredients for a strong leader. To build her legacy to be firm enough to survive Panama, she has to take cautious steps, rise above petty squabbling within the party and get involved in more practical politics.