The PTI is already facing internal wrangling over the distribution of ministries among its MPAs and a tussle with Jamaat-i-Islami over the issue of Education Ministry. -File Photo
The PTI is already facing internal wrangling over the distribution of ministries among its MPAs and a tussle with Jamaat-i-Islami over the issue of Education Ministry. -File Photo

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa is mulling over a controversial plan to merge the Social Welfare and Women Development Ministry with the Zakat and Ushr Ministry, with the slot likely to be given to its coalition partner Jamaat-i-Islami, an official source told Dawn.com.

The official announcement is still anticipated in this regard. Given that the party is already facing internal wrangling over the distribution of ministries among its MPAs and a tussle with Jamaat-i-Islami over the issue of Education Ministry, the said move is bound to earn criticism.

However, sources said that PTI is under severe pressure from civil society as well as party leaders to retain the women’s ministry.

Talking to Dawn.com, PTI’s provincial general secretary and MPA Shaukat Yousafzai said: “No there is no plan to merge the two ministries. The ministers and the portfolios are yet to be decided but we don’t have any such plans.”

About the intra-party rifts over distribution of ministries, Shaukat said, all the issues would be resolved by Monday, adding: “We would have a cabinet working soon.”

Civil Society Cries Foul

Meanwhile, the civil society and women rights bodies in KP have termed the re-merger of the Social Welfare and Women Development Ministry with Zakat and Ushr as an injustice to the already deprived womenfolk of the province.

Resident Director of the Aurat Foundation KP, Shabeena Ayaz reacting to reports said: “It will be really bad ... women affairs should not be treated as a miniature subject... we even want it separated from social welfare, as there should be a full-fledged women ministry instead of treating women's welfare as a side affair.”

She remarked that women in KP were already faced with a host of problems and social injustices and that this decision if implemented, would further multiply their miseries.

“I would just suggest, it would be a big injustice with young women voters who had opted to vote for change, there should not only be a separate ministry but it must be headed by a woman minister as well.”

The former ANP-PPP coalition government in KP had bifurcated the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women Development and Special Education from Zakat and Ushr Ministry keeping in view the special circumstances wherein women welfare being given special priority.

Though being a single department, Zakat and Ushr was looked after by Zarshid Khan while the Social Welfare and Women Ministry was headed by Sitara Ayaz.

The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf did emerge as the largest single party in KP. Hoewever since its intra-party elections, from the nomination of women legislators for reserved seats and even for the slot of Chief Minister and Speaker, there has been infighting among party MPAs, which has been viewed as an immature move on the part of legislators.

The dust has not yet settled, and still Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak is shuttling between Peshawar and Lahore to finalise ministers in consultation with PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

‘Separate Ministry Must’

Requesting anonymity, a female MPA of PTI said that women in the party would raise their voice against any such decision which may undermine women's empowerment.

“We can’t compromise on women's rights as we had been taught by party discipline and our chief Imran Khan to strive for the rights of the deprived, women in KP need more support instead of such injustices, we won’t support it,” she remarked.

Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, MPA Nighat Orakzai says she and her party had been fighting in the KP assembly for women's rights on the floor of the house, any decision which would deprive women of their rights need to be countered.

She remarked that they had voted for the chief minister, despite not being allies but now there would be zero tolerance from her party on any such movie.

“We don’t feel it would be a wise move if the women ministry is again remerged with Zakat and Ushr,we need real empowerment which can be attained once we have a separate women ministry headed by us women,” she said.

An official of the Social Welfare Department told that though there were separate ministries for Women Welfare and Zakat and Ushr in the last government but its one department and headed by one administrative secretary so the only reason, they might be considering it one as that the PTI’s government in KP wanted to cut down the ministries from 25 to 15.

Another official source disclosed that the KP government would have an advisor on women affairs instead of a Women Minister which is also viewed discriminatory by the civil society.

Hijacking Women’s Rights

Another reason for civil society concerns about the merger of Women Ministry with Zakat and Ushar is that the Jamaat-i-Islami would be the in-charge of women affairs. The JI had a number of reservations on recent legislation regarding women affairs in KP.

The KP chief of Shirkat Gah, another civil society organisation, involved in women related legislation and their welfare, Saira Bano says bringing two entirely different nature of ministries together would put women related issues on the back burner.

“Our concern is, it would be a big disaster and the legislation done for women empowerment in the past few years would be doomed, women affairs have to be treated not merely as a charity but it must be a priority issue for us,” she added.

“Women status in KP is a focus area for the world because of the peculiar environment and militancy, and if we are not having a separate ministry for Women Welfare, we would be again heading for trouble as many of those who had opposed women voting during 2013 elections would again be making decisions on their fate,” she remarked.

The former chairperson of the Provincial Commission on Status of Women, Zubaida Khatoon remarks administratively, the decision might benefit the government financially but there should be a separate ministry which is direly needed.

“There had been a lot of good work done for women empowerment but still, a lot has to be done as we have not achieved the goal of real women empowerment,” she said, adding “I would strongly a separate women ministry but only if its headed by a women minister, especially after the 18th amendment, much has to be done in the province to emancipate the women who are suffering.”


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Comments (46) (Closed)


FarmerDr
Jun 10, 2013 11:07pm

Giving mullahs responsibility for women's rights is like putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank.

Ahmed
Jun 10, 2013 11:29pm

Pity the people of KP. They voted for "change"....and got retrograde molvis instead, thanks to PTI.

Bong
Jun 10, 2013 11:34pm

I am sure they will be very progressive..1..they will ensure that women get equality of status with men 2. there will be economic independence of women

Agha Ata
Jun 10, 2013 11:56pm

Women Development Ministry should be in hands of a woman Period!

Raja Islam
Jun 11, 2013 12:35am

While there is nothing wrong in merging the two ministries, if the ministry is given to JI then it will confirm that the PTI is nothing other than another right wing party.

M Aslam
Jun 11, 2013 12:40am

This is the deliverance level of IK. We believe he is only good in abusing others and pointing fingers. His vision, his capabilities and his inteligence is below ground level. He took 17 years to make a riches party. Now while all other assemblies are formed and start functioning, he is still struggling for making his cabinet. Wait for another 17 months.

Waqas
Jun 11, 2013 01:05am

What was achieve by the Women Ministry in the last 5 years. Writer seems like a moron ! Let them govern and then pass judgement.

Tahira
Jun 11, 2013 02:30am

An absolute NO to combining the two ministries. Women's affairs must be kept separate and JI should not have any say in it. Women are already losing out on many fronts to the so-called Islamic Council etc. These people want to drag the women in to the caves to breed for them like insects.

rz
Jun 11, 2013 04:32am

This sounds like a move by JI to again suppress the social and economic development of women. Do you think they will pay any attention to women's problems when the ministry is merged with zakat and ushr. They should not be allowed to do this merger. This will be a failure for PTI. Ppl in KP voted for change, but the change should be forward, not backward to the dark ages.

Danish A.
Jun 11, 2013 04:38am

If this is a sign of things to come from Imran Khan's "Naya Pakistan," rule me out of it.

Yawar
Jun 11, 2013 06:00am

Social Welfare and Women Development Ministry under Jamaat-i-Islami???

Idealist
Jun 11, 2013 06:25am

PTI

AB Uzair
Jun 11, 2013 06:30am

The simple rule is, if you want more ministers to be inducted in, split the ministries. If you can survive with fewer number of ministers, merge the ministries. Why merge with Zakat and Ushr? why not with Tourism for example. Entirely unrelated objectives.

Women ministries have never done anything that has helped the women folks. Abolish the ministry and make more effective District level programs that local women can access easily.

kaiser waziri
Jun 11, 2013 08:17am

Same faces! Same story! Different name!

GhostRider
Jun 11, 2013 09:04am

looks like a taliban cabinet...honestly

Akil Akhtar
Jun 11, 2013 09:09am

Good Decision as these ministries should remain at the best in tehc entre otherwise they are just revenue wasting entities.

Rashid Sultan
Jun 11, 2013 12:27pm

Far too many bearded people in the assembly. Not good for business. Especially for Gillette and other razor and shaving cream / lotion and potion manufacturers, distributers & retailers. Give our beautiful ladies a chance. After all, they are our caring and able mothers and sisters too.

Guest63
Jun 11, 2013 12:33pm

is there any more proof needed to expose the taliban Khan and his party's stance ?

fawad
Jun 11, 2013 12:54pm

women sholud be more empowered and their rights must be protected on every cost,bt ministries sholud not exceed, as it harmfull for our fragiled economy...........

farhan
Jun 11, 2013 01:04pm

my family now realizing they just wasted their votes in NA 250 . no more drama for naya pakistan

akram
Jun 11, 2013 01:12pm

not a great idea is it, put in charge of the women's ministry the most backward and misogynistic members of society. think again.

SAQIB
Jun 11, 2013 01:48pm

Dekh lo. Dikha dia......

Ahmed
Jun 11, 2013 01:54pm

so the heading of the article says 'No Women Ministry in KP under PTI govt' while the article itself says there is a PROPOSAL to do it and the no women ministry thing is DENIED by the PTI. Seriously, DAWN what's the matter with you? When did u go from the undisputed best english newspaper in Pakistan to a cheap tabloid????

Kesar
Jun 11, 2013 01:57pm

@FarmerDr: Spot on!

Rizwan Liaqat
Jun 11, 2013 02:30pm

@FarmerDr: Well then they didn't vote enough did they? PTI had to ally with JI, there was no other choice. If people really did not want JI in the government they shouldn't have voted for it.

Mira
Jun 11, 2013 02:50pm

@Danish A.:

You were never ruled-in, guy.

skeptic
Jun 11, 2013 03:25pm

@Bong: lay off the bong!!!!

Kalim Hasam
Jun 11, 2013 03:39pm

Congrats! to PTI fans. I am just glad IK didn't win in the Centre. My mum & dad voted for him but now realise he is just a right wing extremist.

Amna Durrani
Jun 11, 2013 03:44pm

hopes high with the statement of CM re inclusion of women in the new Cabinet. Fingers crossed!

naghman qureshi
Jun 11, 2013 04:38pm

what else can you expect from taliban sympathizers

ilyas khan
Jun 11, 2013 05:04pm

@Ahmed: PTI was not having enough seat to take a solo flight. They have to either make coalition with Fazal Rehman OR JI. I think JI is a much better choice than Mr. Diesel.

Agha Ata
Jun 11, 2013 07:15pm

If you do not allow highly educated and capable women of our country to become a minister for women, more than 50% of our population, what else can we expect from a male minister who might head this ministry?

A sincere Pakistani
Jun 11, 2013 07:40pm

Going through all the comments I can smell that the people are getting impatient. my advise please let the cabinet form first and avoid sweeping statements. such statements would discourage the new government. about jamat Islami (though I am not a fan) is the most democratic and disciplined party of Pakistan and they are Pakistanis (remember), not Indians. please give everyone a chance and then make your opinions.

kdspirited
Jun 11, 2013 08:44pm

@farhan: /yeah and your family is happy with the way the rest of Pakistan is running. This is precisely the problem with our people. They are so selfish that the moment they see no benefit to their own lives they turn their backs on the same people they trusted in. And yet they have the will power to tolerate the same faces for the last 60 years on a rotational basis and be perfectly alright with it. You should be standing up to support the party and give them courage during these hard times not criticize them

kdspirited
Jun 11, 2013 08:50pm

Whats wrong with the message here. We are talking about KP here people. You have to understand its a conservative province any which way you look at it. You forget that JI and JUI-F by the way are a very close second parties to PTI. Which means there are a lot of people in KPK who still believe in the backward mentality of these people and voted for them. IK is not going to change that thinking over night. Yes he should be cognizant of womens right and allow them to have a stronger voice. But even if he makes this move it is not going to get women voting rights, education rights and equal rights to men. You have to change peoples core values and thinking towards women. One ministry is not going to do that. I think PTI needs to do the right thing which is allow women a voice. And inshallah they will

Lakhkar Khan
Jun 11, 2013 09:29pm

You wanted the change, you got it. Welcome to KPK (aka mullaland).

Lakhkar Khan
Jun 11, 2013 09:36pm

The current "leadership" wants to turn the clock backwards. Mullahs should have no role in leading.

Lakhkar Khan
Jun 11, 2013 09:38pm

@Bong:

I hope you are being sarcastic. If not, you need some serious help.

Lakhkar Khan
Jun 11, 2013 09:45pm

Mullahs are not the solution, they are the problem.

Abbasi
Jun 11, 2013 10:03pm

Naya Pakistan

Harzar Khan
Jun 11, 2013 10:11pm

@M Aslam: Folks.. First.. 35 seats are not large enough to form the govt. So these are bed fellows of different planets.. JI is honest but from 10 century and IK will not touch JUF or forge an alliance with MLN. Now to work with independent ..each wants to be a minister.. ANP and PPP were badly bruised parties who wants to bag them.. It is unfortunate when voters choose this salad bowl. Not a single agenda of any party can be implemented. AND each MPA dreams to be minister .. any party or any group. this is the level of dedication ..

zobia khan
Jun 11, 2013 11:32pm

When was the last time the JI had a woman president? What qualifies these mullahs to become expert in woman's affairs?

zobia khan
Jun 11, 2013 11:31pm

@Akil Akhtar : Akil you want to lower the control in the center. Government works best when it is done locally. The centralized model is a failure.

zobia khan
Jun 11, 2013 11:37pm

@FarmerDr: I wonder why the mullahs are so interested in women's affairs. It just boggles the mind. Is it a perversion, or is it a fear that women will rise and show more promise.

fida sayani
Jun 12, 2013 05:27am

Any concession to Jamat Islami on the rights of women will put PTI in a no win situation and there future in the other three provinces will be very DARK.

Ozman
Jun 12, 2013 08:29am

Just look at the picture, if this is what IK's Naya Pakistan going to look like, IK will be limited to KP only. And no wonder IK lost in Lahore and Karachi. Needless to say IK has disappointed a lot of supporters.