Thursday, June 21
This time it is not a male parliamentarian, rather to jump into the already-boiling fray of irregularities and illegalities by elected representatives is a female MPA Shumaila Rana, who was ‘chosen’ on reserved seats to serve the masses.
The Pakistan Muslim League-N has vowed to fulfil all legal formalities in investigating the case. On the other hand, if found guilty, Shumaila Rana will lose her seat, as no convicted can become a parliamentarian, and stands disqualified as conviction as per the Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
Previously, it were MNA Haji Pervaiz Khan from Rawalpindi and Minister Prisons Ch Abdul Ghafoor of the N-League, who indulged in impersonation and acted highhandedly at the Lahore Airport respectively. Interestingly, the MNA lost his seat after a committee found him guilty, and the Minister was given honourable exit from the charges by the PML-N leadership despite the fact that the committee found him guilty on more than two accounts.
Prior to Shumaila Rana’s case, another N-League’s MPA Munawar Gill was indicted in a rape case. He is said to have been found innocent in the case.
Shumaila is the fourth PML-N parliamentarian, who has been found guilty of indulging in a criminal activity.
The first timer to the Punjab Assembly Shumaila Rana, reportedly found guilty of stealing credit card from another female’s bag, and indulging in ‘illegal’ shopping, is member of the Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Auqaf. Moreover, she is also member of Chief Minister’s Coordination Committee for the Internally Displaced People, which is an offshoot of Punjab Chief Minister’s Fund for the IDPs of NWFP.
Unmarried Shumaila Rana is daughter of Hidayat Ali, and she climbed the ladder of becoming an MPA by virtue of her mother Anjum Ara’s services to the Party, as the latter has been worker of the Party for about two decades.
Anjum Rana, a retired schoolteacher of a private institute, was not a graduate, and after her successful canvassing for her daughter, a reserved seat was given to Shumaila Rana, who is said to be in her mid-20s. She is the first MPA from this family, and has nothing tangible to her credit for which she should have been given the slot.
MPA with humble family background, she has been a vociferous supporter of women rights, and their empowerment. She had also promised to lobby for the charter of demands presented by women farmers recently.
A resident of Bedian Road, Lahore, Shumaila Rana had switched off her mobile, while her residence landline phone was kept continuously busy.
Punjab’s Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah Khan said all legal formalities would be actualised in investigating the case. “The Punjab government and Chief Minister always ensure rule of law nor matter how influential is the person. Justice will be ensured and action will be taken as per law,” he said, while further adding that the PML-N would take disciplinary action as well if Shumaila Rana would be proven guilty, and she would be given a change to defend herself.
“Even if the PML-N does take action, like it did not do for Ch Ghafoor and Munawwar Gill, Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan does not allow any person to remain member if ‘he has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction on a charge of corrupt practice, moral turpitude or misuse of power or authority under any law for the time being in force’” maintained a senior PML-N leader, seeking anonymity, who also opined against the ‘dishing out’ of tickets and nominations sans deep deliberations and scrutiny of the prospective members. “The Sharif brothers came back after about a decade in exile, and were not properly briefed by a few handpicked, who had their own agendas, and family connections to strengthen. Consequently, they indulged in nepotism, and to investigate it, top N-League leadership had already ordered an enquiry,” he said.To him, Shumaila Rana was also nominated by the Party’s special group of Lahore. About Rana’s future, he was of the opinion that she might lose her seat even if the police did not find her guilty. “To hold the merit-flag high, this lady could be deseated by the PML-N leadership because in cases of Ch Ghafoor and Munawwar Gill, the top leadership seemed to have been hamstrung by unseen circumstances,” he predicted.
Their mere transfer and keeping them under ‘watch’ will not solve the problem. Until they apprehend certain action will taken against them if they indulged in certain illegality, they will not mend their ways.
The Health Department, on the report of Enquiry Committee constituted by the Chief Secretary Punjab, has initiated action under disciplinary rules against five medical officers, involved in issuance of illegal medico legal certificates, and immediately transferred them from their present place of posting.
The concerned Executive District Officers (Health) have been directed that not to allow these doctors to work on medico legal or forensic science related cases.
According to the spokesman of the Health Department Dr. Frukh Humayun has been transferred from RHC Phool Nagar Kasur and his services have been placed at the disposal of EDO Health Rajanpur, similarly Dr. Mohammad Hasan transferred from RHC Rinala Khurd and given at the disposal of EDO (H) Layyah. Dr. Bashir Ahmed has been transferred from RHC Ayyazabad Multan and posted in THQ Hospital Hazro, District Attock, Dr. Abdul Haq transferred from RHC Sara-i-Sidhu, Khanewal and given at the disposal of EDO(H) Mianwali whereas Dr. Ashar Masood transferred from THQ Hospital Kabirwala and posted at DHQ Hospital Nanankana Sahib.
The concerned EDOs have been directed to watch the working of the said Medical Officers and if any professional negligence occurred on the part of these doctors it should immediately brought in to the notice of the Secretary Health.
Will it solve the problem? Certainly big NO is the actual reply.
Vocal and belligerent Opposition member Samina Khawar Hayyat – herself not having a clean chit for violating decorum of the Assembly – pointed it out to the Speaker loudly, “Sir! Leader of the House is chewing chewgum in the House.”
Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal, perhaps turning his blind eye to what was happening on the right side of his chair, replied, “I have not seen that.”
Immediately, senior parliamentarian Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa was very quick to add, “Sir! He is not chewing chewgum, rather having alaychee (cardamom) in his mouth. However, this was enough to bail the CM out of an awkward situation for the time being.
On the other hand, no one pointed out that the Senior Khosa, as a routine, continues reciting on beads (tasbeeh), which amply hints at the prioritised ‘subject’ for the Chief of the Khosa clan.
Simultaneously, Sirdar Dost Khosa, and another female member from the PML-N Arifa Khalid Pervaiz were also continuing gnaw at something in their mouths.
Generally, chewing of gum in an official ambience is viewed with disfavour. In some cases, it is even considered a disrespectful demeanour. Speaking of Parliaments and legislative bodies, some like the US House of Representatives expressly prohibit eating as also smoking, drinking in the House. Though there does not appear to be any specific provision with respect to chewing gum, where eating is prohibited it should perhaps follow by implication that chewing of gum is also a taboo. Though no specific rule is traceable, the recognised convention in the UK prohibits eating, drinking and smoking in the Houses of Parliament.
Meanwhile, when the Opposition was vigorously fighting for sustaining the cut motions, despite Shahbaz Sharif being in attendance, Treasury members were continuously disturbing their adversaries. When PML-N ladies were heading the move, MPA from Sheikhupura Asghar Ali Manda also started hooting at the Opposition members.
Seeing no end to this despite his repeated futile efforts of keeping the House in order, Rana Iqbal commented, “Munda! Let me complete agenda!”
This brought a big laughter in the House.