“Manipulated Democracy” and candidates for Reserved Seats for women in National Assembly

By Sajjid Murtaza

Lahore, Pakistan: The PML-N list of Women candidates for Reserved Seats in National Assembly to Punjab province is nothing but an excellent example to understand how a common worker is disrespected in political parties of Pakistan and how influential families get the lion share from power-grid?

PMLN’s slogan for General Elections 2018 is “Vote Ko Azit Duo” (Respect the power of vote) but distributing reserve seats among family and friends indicates that there is lesser position for genuine workers in the party and voters when decisions are made on “contacts” instead of merit.

The National Assembly of Pakistan has 70 reserved seats for women and religious minorities to empower women and religious minorities who cannot afford to contest direct elections but they are useful personalities and they serve country or the political system in befitting manners. However, this arrangement is used to accommodate family members of influential personalities since 2002 assembly. Wives, daughters, nieces, fiancées and granddaughters of politicians are inducted in National Assembly through this “Passage to Democracy”.

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has submitted its list of candidates for Women Reserved Seats in National Assembly to Punjab province. The list indicates that PMLN has given top priority to family members of influential personalities instead of giving priority to workers who had been standing with the party in turbulent times and sacrificed their future and are known time-tested comrades.

Just have look at the list of PML-N Candidates for Women Reserved Seats in NA allocated to Punjab province

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  • Tahira Aurangzeb (Mother of former Federal Minister Maryam Aurangzeb)
  • Maryam Aurangzeb (Daughter of Tahira Aurangzeb) (It is pertinent to mention that sister of Tahira Aurangzeb –Najma Hameed is Senator (tenure 2015 to 2021) on the ticket of PMLN)
  • Shaista Pervez Malik (Wife of former Federal Minister and MNA Pervez Malik)
  • Musarrat Asif Khawaja (wife of Former Defence Minister Kh Asif)
  • Shaza Fatima Khawaja (Niece of former Defence Minister Kh Asif)
  • Zahra Wadood Fatemi (Wife of Tariq Fatemi, for Special Assistant to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif)
  • Tahira Noon (Wife of former MPA Adnan Hayat Noon)
  • Najma Afzal Rana (Wife of former Finance minister Rana Afzal)
  • Begum Ishrat Ashraf (Wife of former Minister Ch Jaffar Iqbal)
  • Zeb Jaffar (Daughter of former Minister Ch Jaffar Aqbal and Ishrat Ashraf)
  • Maiza Hameed (Niece of former Minister Ch Jaffar Iqbal and cousin of Zeb Jaffar)
  • Rida Khan (Daughter of senator Mushahidullah who is also a former Federal Minister)
  • Uzma Qadri (Wife of MPA and PMLN Punjab leader Zaeem Qadri)

PML-N list of Women candidates for Reserved Seats in National Assembly indicates how powerful get lion share from democracy?

 

Party sources claim that this list was finalized by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with the helps of brother former Chief Minister and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz. Is it not a family affair?