NA proceedings: Fiery women MNAs lash out at PTI chief

Members from opposition and treasury benches condemn Imran Khan’s remarks.

Umer Nangiana December 18, 2012


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan received scathing criticism from women parliamentarians belonging to both sides of the political aisle in the lower house on Monday over his remarks on women elected on reserved seats not representing their constituencies.

The MNAs from both the opposition and treasury benches demanded a privilege motion against Khan for “disrespecting the house”.

“I was shocked to hear such remarks from the man who claims to be the future leader of Pakistan,” said MNA Shehnaz Wazir Ali.

Speaking on a point of order, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Anusha Rehman raised the issue against a backdrop of thumping of desks in her support.

Referring to Khan as “that cricketer,” Rehman questioned the PTI leader’s contribution towards parliamentary development and democracy during the time he was a member of the house.

PML-Q Likeminded member Kashmala Tariq also condemned Khan’s statement. She said that the PTI chief was speaking against more than half of his party’s potential vote bank. “We achieved this representation in parliament after a long struggle. It is our constitutional right,” said Kashmala.

Shehnaz Wazir Ali stressed that the women on reserved seats come through a political process and represent the people of Pakistan, particularly women. “I was shocked to hear that Imran Khan wants to push more than half the country’s population back behind closed doors,” said Ali.

Quoting Article 51 of the Constitution, Law Minister Farooq H Naek told the house that the Constitution clearly provides for 60 seats for women. “It was their (women parliamentarians’) right to demand a privilege motion,” said Naek, adding that it was, however, the speaker’s prerogative to allow or reject it.

Shehnaz Wazir Ali

MQM’s protest

Speaking on a point of order, Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) member Waseem Akhtar condemned the contempt of court order by the Supreme Court against  his party chief Altaf Hussain. He said the order was received and would be replied to in due time by the party’s legal team.

On the controversial delimitations issue, Akhtar said it was not the court’s but election commission’s mandate to decide on the matter. Also, a consensus was necessary before any delimitation exercise, according to the Constitution, he added.

The MQM member was reminded by the deputy speaker that under Article 68 of the Constitution, “conduct of any judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court cannot be debated in parliament.”

Akhtar, however, insisted that the matter was on public record after the decision of the court was out and he commented on the order not on the judges’ conduct.

The chair, however, ordered to expunge words from Akhtar’s speech, which he interpreted as derogatory or not suitable for discussion in parliament.

Bills Introduced

During the proceedings, Law Minister Naek introduced the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill 2012 in the house which seeks an increase in the number of reserved seats for minorities from 10 to 14 in the National Assembly. The amendment bill was sent to the relevant committee for further discussion.

Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar introduced two bills to amend the Electricity Act 1910 and the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 (The Electricity Amendment Bill 2012) and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 (The Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2012). The bills suggest stricter punishments for electricity theft besides other amendments.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2012.


Ali | 8 years ago | Reply

This reaction shows their political schooling!!!!! Hahahaha Imran is absolutely right in his demands...!!!

Zulfikar, Islamabad | 8 years ago | Reply

@Adnan Siddiqi: You might have heard of resolutions passed by this parliament. The parliament has been turned into a graveyard of resolution. These MPs have been passing resolutions but none of them were implemented. What is the use of these resolutions then. These backbencher female MPs have not done anything extraordinary except clapping. They do not know what is going on in the world because majority of them of them are housewives, jobless begmaats, or so-called civil society activists. This is trend of pocking up the ladies on reserved seats based on favouritism should be given an end. If they wanna prove themselves, they must make their way through ballot. We feel ashamed of calling them as people's representatives. They are their just for their own survival. Let us make them accountable or it will be too late. We appreciate participation of women in politics but this is not the way to represent the nation. Fight elections and we will salute you.

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