Mrs Fauzia Kasuri, true merit comes above party affiliations
Popularity among the people isn't the criteria of being a lawmaker; it is the criteria of being a fundraiser.
Ever wonder why our country is in such turmoil? Ever wonder how people who are not worth it occupy the seats of the National Assembly? Ever heard yourself say:
“OMG, my 10-year-old could have done a better job than that!”?
The major answer to these questions is that in Pakistani culture, merit isn't defined properly.
We think merit is the number of years you have worked loyally for a party, and that it is defined through the “amount” of work done instead of the quality or category of the work done.
Let’s analyse this definition in terms of a parliamentarian, that is, a lawmaker.
What kind of merit is ideal for a lawmaker? Obviously for starters, one would want them to have education in politics and know the laws inside and out. Afterwards, it would be expected of them to have the capabilities to draft laws, defence strategies, international relation strategies, debate drafted laws, so on and so forth.
An example of merit working in real life politics would be the appointing of a prominent republican chief executive officer as an advisor to a democratic president.
In February 2009, Immelt was appointed as a member to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) to provide the president and his administration with advice and counsel in fixing America's economic downturn. When President Obama chose to put Jeffrey Immelt at the head of the Economic Advisory Board, he felt that Immelt had attributions in knowing what would help the global economy. Obama has reported that Immelt has emerged as one of his top economic advisors in regards to trying to rebuild America's economy.
This is what merit is! In intelligent government bodies, true merit comes even above party affiliations.
Someone tried to compare the MNA positions with an award programme. MNA seats aren’t rewards; they are positions of huge responsibility which require merit appointments, especially on reserved seats. Pakistanis must stop viewing such pivotal positions as awards for being loyal. Until they don’t do so, the condition of Pakistan isn’t going to change anytime soon.
In the National Assembly appointments, especially in the reserved seats appointments, one must make sure that the true merit of education, experience, and capabilities as a lawmaker must prevail above everything else. We need people who have experience in lawmaking, international relations, defence strategies, law drafting and such. We do not necessarily need good campaigners and fundraisers in parliament. The work of campaigners and fundraisers is best out of the parliament.
While watching the many political shows, the capabilities of Dr Shireen Mazari of being a lawmaker, debater and political strategist are very evident. She knows the intricate details of the conflicts existing in different areas of Pakistan. She is able to provide sound opinions and criticism on such conflicts, as well as their proposed solutions. While Mrs Fauzia Kasuri has been an amazing campaigner and a fundraiser, she does not have the top capabilities of being a prominent and influential lawmaker. Popularity among the people isn’t the criteria of being a lawmaker; it is the criteria of being a fundraiser.
I am not saying that Mrs Fauzia Kasuri completely lacks the capability of being a lawmaker. She, after all, is an educated woman, who has an MBA as well as a degree in international affairs. However, she has never done any work in those fields. Moreover, she was considered for the reserved seats and was placed fourth, as was proper to do so. Mrs Fauzia Kasuri has defined herself as a social worker rather than a politician. She should know that, she does not need to be an MNA to provide clean drinking water.
The women appointed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province have been demeaned tremendously for their fault of being distant relatives of chief minister of K-P. Those women are entrepreneurs, head of chamber of commerce, educationists, social workers and they were very active in the political circles of their constituencies. They aren't popular because they weren’t in the media. They were working on ground, door to door.
The bottom line is that we must stop equating merit with the number of years worked, or the amount of work done for a party. The category and quality of the work takes precedence over all that. At the top spots, we need lawmakers in the parliament - campaigners and fundraisers simply do not "deserve" the top reserved spots.
Follow Rida on Twitter @PakiPride22