Senate elections: Fata lawmakers pay up to maintain clout

Published: February 9, 2012

Muneer Orakzai, leader of the Fata parliamentarians. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: 

The frontier may be geographically rugged but there’s no dearth of goodwill amongst its elected representatives when it comes to power.

To ensure that wealth and seats stay within the incumbent political elite, elected representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have decided to either propose names of their family members for the upcoming Senate elections, or make hay otherwise.

The procedure

The Senate has 8 representatives from Fata, four of whom will retire in March 2012. The four new members for these vacant seats are voted for by the 12 representatives of Fata in the lower house of parliament.

The National Assembly has 11 Fata members at present, since elections were not held in South Waziristan due to the ongoing insurgency.

Of these 11 members, eight have paired themselves based on mutual understanding and will pay Rs150 million per pair into a pool that will eventually be divided amongst the existing 11 members, sources told The Express Tribune.

The arrangement

The pairs include Muneer Orakzai with Mohammad Kamran Khan; Sajid Toori with Jawad Hussain; Malik Bilal Rehman with Shaukatullah Khan; and Noorul Haq Qadri with Hameedullah Jan Afridi.

Each pair will nominate one person, which could be one of either lawmakers, or their family member, for the four vacant seats. Both lawmakers, however, will pay Rs75 million for being part of this arrangement, making a total pool of Rs600 million which will be divided amongst nine lawmakers.

Zafar Baig Bhittani, the ninth lawmaker of the group, has expressed no interest in making any nominations for the Senate seats and wants to simply receive a payout from the divisible pool for being a silent part of the arrangement.

These nine lawmakers together have offered Rs5 million each to Akhunzada Chattan of Bajaur Agency and Abdul Malik Wazir from South Waziristan Agency for not proposing any candidates either.

The allotments

Muneer Orakzai, leader of the Fata parliamentarians, has already been allotted a ticket in his pair. From two other pairs, Shaukatullah Khan and Noorul Haq Qadri have proposed names of their brothers, Hidayatullah and Abdul Malik, respectively.

When approached, Muhammad Kamran Khan, the lawmaker from North Waziristan, refused to comment on the issue and said that “none of it has been finalised as yet”.

Other lawmakers could not be reached for their version, despite repeated attempts.

According to sources, the deal is set to be finalised by February 9.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2012.

Reader Comments (9)

  • Mirza
    Feb 9, 2012 - 10:13AM

    The US must be responsible for this inherent corruption Pakistan? We the citizens of Islamic Republic of Pakistan are all fine.

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  • jwmchristie
    Feb 9, 2012 - 10:22AM

    where is democracy in Pakistan? How long, how long? will there never be such a thing? is it possible?

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  • Gul Bahadur
    Feb 9, 2012 - 10:32AM

    Is this not a broad day robbery? Why the C.J. is silent about it?All these so called representatives of the FATA should be sent to jail.How can a member of parliament openly accept bribes and be proud of it.This clearly show that we have no law in this country and those who claim that they are the custodian of constitution,are either ignorant of the laws or simply playing with the destiny of this ill fated nation.

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  • Badar Esapzy
    Feb 9, 2012 - 4:34PM

    President Zardari has extended the political parties act in FATA some months ago, hope not to see again these so called representatives in coming up election

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  • Feb 9, 2012 - 7:35PM

    This is the LAST TIME these “Representatives” make Money from Politics. They will be Swept by the Tsunami InshaAllah.

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  • Anwar from Massachusetts
    Feb 9, 2012 - 8:49PM

    Is anyone surprised why these good fellows will not allow direct voting in FATA? Keeping the status quo in FATA has perpetuated this unending cycle of corruption.

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  • Flabbergasted
    Feb 9, 2012 - 10:00PM

    Open corruption, raping the very purpose of Democracy . No wonder the quality of the Senate we see! Senate should be done away with and MNA’s should carry out the functions of Senators as well.

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  • Feb 11, 2012 - 3:02PM

    Nooooooo Commmmennnnntssssss

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  • hikmat
    Mar 6, 2012 - 7:08PM

    shame shame.how could fata progress while having such representatives

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