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June 12, 2018

Reserved seats for women: New faces dominate PTI list, PPP prefers loyalists


June 12, 2018

LAHORE: The PTI in its priority list of the seats reserved for women in National Assembly has put the name of Dr Shireen Mazari on the top, while it is Dr Yasmin Rashid in the case of Punjab Assembly.

Yasmin is a diehard PTI activist who contested against Nawaz Sharif and Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in 2013 general elections and 2017 by polls respectively.

The priority list of PPP shows former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar at the top followed by former provincial minister from Toba Tek Singh Neelum Jabbar Chaudhry, whereas Shahida Jabeen, a diehard party loyalist whose brother Usman was executed by the Zia regime, finally found place in the seats reserved for women in Punjab Assembly at fourth number. The 13-member list of PPP for the women reserved seats in the National Assembly also former MNAs Mehreen Anwer Raja, Natasha Daultana and Palwasha Khan.

Amongst the18 women of PTI whose name have been given for reserved seats, the most experienced politician from Chakwal Fauzia Behram, a former MPA, has been given 13th number. Fauzia served as MPA in 1988, 2002 and 2008 and quit PPP after 2013.

Mazari, who also remained MNA on reserved seats, is topping the list followed by Munaza Hassan, Andleeb Abbas, Alya Hamza, Javeria Zafar, Kanwal Shauzab, Dr Seemi Bokhari, Sobia Kamal, Nausheen Hamid, Rubina Jamal, Maleeka Bokhari, Fauzia Behram, Rukhsana Naveed, Tashfeen Safdar, Wajeeha Ikram, Asiya Azeem and Mashal Hassan. The PTI submitted 67 names of its women members for reserved seats in Punjab Assembly in which Yasmin, who is currently also the party candidate from a Lahore seat, is at number one position whereas former MPA Saadia Sohail Rana has been placed at number 16. The PTI in Punjab Assembly hasn’t included the names of its former MPAs including Nabila Hakim and Naheed Naeem, whereas much to the shock and humiliation of former MPA Raheela Anwar, who remained very active in five years, has been given 64th position in a list of 67. She could only become MPA if PTI attains two-thirds majority in the House. Firdous Rai, who hails from Faisalabad, has been given number 7 in the list, whereas Shahida Malaika, who hails from Khanewal, has also remained part of PTI Punjab organization. Many eyebrows in the party cadres have been raised on the name of Neelam Hayat who has been given number 12 in the list. Neelum, according to party insiders had quit PTI and remained a part of Awami Tehreek.

Diehard party workers like Talat Naqvi has once again has been lowered in the priority list and given 20th number, whereas Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, whose husband Jamshed Iqbal Cheema is also contesting for National Assembly election from Lahore, has been placed at 15. Talat Naqvi has been siding with the PTI for almost two decades now but couldn’t find a safe position in the list. Dr Zarqa, the party member who contested the Senate poll recently is at number 66. Ayesha Chaudhry, the media coordinator of the Chairman Secretariat, has been placed at number 25 and her name is above the members like Sania Kamran (34), former MPA Raheela Anwar (64) and Dr Zarqa. Many disgruntled women activists, while talking to The News, expressed great disappointment over the list issued by the party.

Most of them were of the view that the president of Central Punjab chapter, Abdul Aleem Khan, had a major role in setting the list and most of the members of his lobby had been accommodated. The News tried to contact Aleem but he didn’t pick up the phone.

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