New parties, same old faces in Pakistan Assembly

Islamabad: Post-July 25 Pakistan is being termed as ‘new Pakistan’ and this was also election slogan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) however after having a look at the names sent by the major political parties to National Assembly on seats reserved for women, one cannot help saying that old faces have returned to National Assembly to make new Pakistan.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued list of the Members of the National Assembly on seats reserved for women in proportion with the wining number of each party.

Very few workers, devoted members of the parties have found their place in this list of women MPs. Mostly, wives, daughters, sisters and relatives of the lawmakers or those on personal choice of the party leaders have been sent to the Parliament.

In Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), former Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhw (KP) Pervaiz Khattak’s relatives Nafeesa Khattak and Sajida Begum have been sent to the National Assembly on women reserved seats.

PTI’s former MNA Shireen Mazari has made a comeback. Other MNAs on reserved seats are Munaza Hasan, and Andleeb Abbas.

In case of PML-N, MNA Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal’s relatives Zeb Jaffar and Maiza Hameed—daughter and niece—have got the chance to serve the nation once again.

In PML-N too, former Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatimi’s wife Zahra Wadood has also been fortunate to find her place in the Assembly.

In PML-N, Musarrat Asif and Shiza Fatima, wife and niece of PML-N MNA from Sialkot and a close confidant of its leader, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif have been notified by the Election Commission on the recommendation of the party.

Former Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and her mother former MNA Tahira Aurangzeb have once again been sent to the Lower House of the Parliament.

PML-N leader Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal’s wife Ishrat Ashraf has also secured a seat in the Punjab Assembly on reserved seat.

Again in PML-N, former Finance Minister of Punjab Aisha Ghaus Pasha, who is wife of former federal finance minister Hafeezullah Pasha, has been sent to National Assembly on reserved seat.

In MMA, on the recommendation of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), wife of the former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Kamran Murtaza, Alia Kamran, has been notified as MNA from Balochistan.

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) former Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has been nominated on reserved seat for the National Assembly. Shagufta Jumani, Shazia Marri and Naz Baloch are also among the lucky ones for National Assembly of Pakistan.

While talking to Gulf News, Secretary General of Free And Fair Election Network (FAFEN), Sarwar Bari said bringing the same faces on the basis of their blood relations was not good for democracy and democratic culture. This not only discourages the workers of a political party it also limits the scope of democratic principles of accountability, fair play.

Bari said Imran Khan is perhaps the only leader who has been above board in this practice of sending near and dear ones to the assemblies and has not reportedly recommended anyone his favourite for the National Assembly or provincial assembly eat. He said there was a need to legislate on dynastic politics. FAFEN had prepared a report on this sometime back and now we shall make an in-depth analysis to make public which party had sent the largest number of women on the basis of blood relations or favouritism on reserved seats, he said.


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