ISLAMABAD, May 28: Powerful political families will make a strong statement about their presence in parliament when fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives and nephews and nieces will take oath as members of the new national and provincial assemblies. While power is being transferred from one civilian government to another for the first time in the country’s history, an analysis of the results of the May 11 elections shows that the traditional family hold on the legislatures is getting stronger.
The trend of family politics is more powerful in Sindh and Punjab, but interestingly this is not seen in Balochistan.
The Mahars, Makhdooms, Jatois, Magsis, Bijaranis and Talpurs of Sindh and Sharifs, Legharis and Khosas of Punjab, who have dominated political scene for several decades, will be seen again in the assemblies.
The Makhdooms of Hala have been holding sway over Sindh’s politics since the birth of Pakistan. This time three members of the family have reached the national and Sindh assemblies. Besides Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who has been nominated as the PPP’s parliamentary leader in the NA, his son Makhdoom Jamiluz Zaman and brother Makhdoom Rafiquz Zaman have been elected MPAs.
From the Mahar family of Ghotki, Ali Gohar Mahar and his brother Ali Muhammad Mahar have secured both the NA seats from the district. Their brother Ali Nawaz Mahar and cousin Mohammad Bakhsh Khan Mahar have made it to the Sindh Assembly.
The Mahar tribe holds influence also in Shikarpur. Former minister Ghous Bakhsh Mahar has retained his family seat of the NA and his son Sheheryar Mahar in Sindh Assembly.
The Magsis have not lost their political hold over Shahdadkot and the adjoining area of Balochistan from where brothers Mir Amir Magsi, Mir Khalid Magsi and Mir Nadir Magsi have managed to make their way to the national and provincial assemblies.
Veteran PPP leader Nawab Yousuf Talpur has once again won his traditional National Assembly seat from Umerkot and his son Taimoor Talpur has returned to the Sindh Assembly.
Another PPP leader from Jacobabad, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, successfully contested for a provincial assembly seat this time, perhaps with the hope of becoming chief minister of Sindh. His National Assembly seat has been won by his son Mir Shabbir Bijarani.Pir Sadaruddin Shah, brother of Pir Pagara, has won two NA seats and Pir Pagara’s son Syed Rashid Shah has been elected MPA.
Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza has retained her NA seat from Badin and her son Hasnain Mirza has again been elected on a provincial assembly seat he had earlier secured in a by-election after the resignation of his father and former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza.
The Jatois of Naushehro Feroze have also been playing an active role in Sindh’s politics for decades. Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi has won the NA seat and his brother Masroor Jatoi has returned as MPA.
Faryal Talpur and Dr Azra Fazal, sisters of President Asif Ali Zardari, have won NA seats from Nawabshah and Larkana. Munawwar Talpur, husband of Faryal Talpur, has been elected MNA from Mirpurkhas.
Another PPP leader, Manzoor Wassan, who had been winning NA and PA seats from Khairpur in previous elections, has again preferred to become a member of the Sindh Assembly. His nephew Nawab Wassan will represent the party in the NA.
Nauman Islam Sheikh, a son of Islamuddin Sheikh, the PPP’s chief whip in the Senate, has won the NA seat from Sukkur.
Politics in Punjab also marks the domination of prominent families with Sharifs, Khosas, Legharis and Makhdooms having a stronghold in different areas of the province.
After the defeat of three sons and a brother of former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in the polls, the Sharif family is leading in the legislatures in terms of the number of members from the same family.
Nawaz Sharif will be taking oath of prime minister’s office in the first week of June and his brother Shahbaz Sharif will become chief minister of the country’s largest province for the third time. Hamza Shahbaz, son of Shahbaz Sharif, has retained his NA seat whereas retired Captain Muhammad Safdar, son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, will be in the NA to represent the people of Mansehra.
Mustafa Mehmood and Mujtaba Mehmood, sons of Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, have won Punjab Assembly seats from Rahimyar Khan. Similarly, Awais Leghari and Jamal Leghari -- sons of former president Sardar Farooq Leghari -- have secured NA and PA seats and their uncle Jaffar Leghari has won a PA seat.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has reached the NA and his brother Lutufur Rehman has been elected MPA. It is expected that his third brother Maulana Ataur Rehman, a former MNA, will contest by-election on one of the seats to be vacated by the Maulana.
Former chief minister Aftab Sherpao will take oath as MNA and his son Sikandar Sherpao as MPA. More politicians from a single family are expected to join the legislatures after the allotment of seats reserved for women. The lists of candidates submitted to the Election Commission show that Nafisa Shah, daughter of former Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah; Rida Khan, daughter of PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan; and Shaista Pervez, wife of PML-N MNA Pervez Malik, are set to become MNAs.