Political bigwigs can’t see beyond their kin

Public offices not for the public but to ‘reward’ bloodline


Qadeer Tanoli July 17, 2018
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with father Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: BILAWAL BHUTTO ZARDARI/ INSTAGRAM

ISLAMABAD: Some of the latest graduates of the National Assembly have not only toed party line but taken good care of their bloodline as well.

There were couples, brothers, sisters, son-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, sons, nephews, nieces and every other possible kinship in the past assembly which one may think of.

The two major political parties in the last national assembly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz  (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) had an ‘outstanding chunk’ with regard to presence of lawmakers who had close relatives within the House.

One such example is of PML-N leaders and husband-wife Malik Pervaiz and Shaista Pervaiz Malik who were both MNAs in the last lower house of parliament. Pervaiz also served as Minister for Commerce and Textile in the cabinet of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif also had a number of blood relatives in the National Assembly including nephew Hamza Shehbaz, the son of former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif.

Hamza also had some ‘notable’ distinctions to his name such as he was amongst legislators who rarely visited the House and very occasionally participated in its proceedings.

A game of thrones in Pakistan's dynastic politics

Similarly, Abid Sher Ali, a prominent PML-N leader who served as Minister of State for Power in the Abbasi cabinet happens to be a close relative of the Sharif clan. Shaza Fatima Khawaja has also served as an MNA on reserved seat for women while her uncle Khawaja Muhammad Asif served as a federal minister in cabinets of both Sharif and Abbasi.

Another PML-N couple, Zahra Wadood Fatemi and her husband Tariq Fatemi both were a part of the previous legislature and cabinet as the latter served as Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs to Sharif while the former was an MNA.

Likewise, mother-daughter duo Tahira and Marriyum Aurangzeb both served as members of the past National Assembly simultaneously whereas Marriyum served as State Minister for Information and Broadcasting in the cabinet of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Meanwhile, former president Asif Ali Zardari also favoured family members as both of his sisters and brother-in-law were a part of the House on PPPP’s ticket including Faryal Talpur and Mir Munawar Talpur.

Similarly, Azra Fazal Pechuho, another of the Zardari siblings was elected to the 2013 National Assembly on the party’s ticket.
Former chief minister Sindh, Qaim Ali Shah’s daughter Nafisa Shah also served as an MNA on reserved seats for women on the ticket of PPPP.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf also had its part in the past assembly with regard to family politics as its MNA Imran Khattak is the son-in-law of former CM K-P, Pervez Khattak while another lawmaker Aqibullah Khan is the brother of speaker of K-P Assembly Asad Qaisar.

Moreover, Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema and his brother Chaudhry Tahir Bashir Cheema remained MNAs in the last assembly on the ticket of Pakistan Muslim League (Q).

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