Friday September 24, 2021

Shehbaz terms appointment of NCSW chairperson illegal

August 03, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif Monday wrote a letter to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser expressing his concern over the election of the chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), declaring it illegal.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) president wrote in his letter that the appointment of the chairperson was a violationof parliamentary rules, law and democratic values.

Fozia Viqar secured six votes of members present namely Dr Nafisa Shah (MNA), Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Tahira Aurangzeb, Ms Shahida Akhtar Ali, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq and Senator Abida Muhammmad Azeem whereas the other candidate namely Nilofer Bakhtiar could secure only five votes of members present namely Asma Hadeed, Shaheen Naz Saifullah, Nuzhat Pathan, Farukh Khan and Senator Sana Jamali.

It was astonishing for the members of committee when the chairperson of the Committee Falak Naz insisted to cast her own vote in favor of Nilofer Bakhtiar, who otherwise had lost the election, he said.

In this regard rule 6(4) of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of Chairperson of National Commission on Status of Women Rules, 2012 was brought into tile knowledge of Falak Naz by the members of the committee. However, she did not pay any heed to it. The said rules in very explicit terms state that “The Chairperson shall, in the event of equality of votes, have a casting vote”. The insistence to cast vote by the chairperson have no validity of law whatsoever, rather the same is also in derogation of ethos of democracy and majoritarian rule which is bedrock of democracy. Instead of protecting the sanctity of the vote, the chairperson stifled the whole process in order to secure the appointment of government’s blue-eyed candidate as chairperson of the NCSW.

“It has now come to my knowledge that the chairperson of the committee prepared the minutes of the meeting as per her own whims and wishes and declared Nilofer Bakhtiar as returned candidate, who has also been appointed chairperson of NCSW through Notification dated 28.07.2021,” he wrote.

He said the appointment of the NCSW chairperson has to be made through a lawful process as despite securing majority votes Fozia Viqar has not been appointed as chairperson.

The conduct of the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Appointment of the Chairperson of NCSW is unbecoming of a parliamentarian which cannot be appreciated at any score.

Shehbaz asked the Speaker to take immediate action to address the issue, saying, “It is also a legal right of Fozia Viqar that since she secured majority votes therefore she must be notified as chairperson of NCSW without further loss of time.”