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.