ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is the ‘most weaponised political party’ in the legislature as out of 100 lawmakers to have declared owning firearms, as many as 50 are from the party.
An analysis of the statements of assets and liabilities of lawmakers for the year 2018 shows that the PPP is the only party with members possessing weapons in both the houses of parliament and the three provincial assemblies except Balochistan, where it has no representation.
Besides PPP, 20 such lawmakers are from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), five each from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and four from the Balochistan Awami Party.
As many as 19 members of the National Assembly have declared weapons in their statements of assets which include six each from PPP and PTI, two each from PML-N and MQM, and one each from GDA and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, besides one independently elected member.
Out of 100 firearms-owning lawmakers, 50 belong to Peoples Party
Prominent among the National Assembly members to have declared weapons include former president Asif Ali Zardari who has the largest personal arsenal, with a declared value of unspecified type and the number of weapons he possesses at Rs16.60 million.
The list also includes two federal ministers — Dr Fehmida Mirza and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.
Upper house of parliament
In the Senate, a total of ten members declared weapons in their statements. They included two each from PPP, PTI, PkMAP and NP, one from PML-N and one independent.
They include Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwala and Gianchand of PPP, Federal Minister Azam Swati and Dr Shahzad Wasim of PTI, Mohammad Akram and Kabir Ahmad Shahi of NP, Usman Kakar and Sardar Azam Moosakhel (expired), Agha Shahzaib Durrani of PML-N and Sardar Shafiq Tarin (Independent).
In Sindh Assembly, 47 members declared owning weapons out of which 40 are from PPP, four from GDA, two from PTI and one from Pakistan Muslim League-Functional.
PPP’s Nawab Sardar Khan Chandio tops the list with possession of arms worth six million rupees, followed by Sharjeel Inam Memon, former Sindh information minister, who possesses weapons worth 2.5 million rupees.
The other PPP members of Sindh Assembly who have weapons worth over one million rupees include Mir Nadir Ali Magsi, Ali Hasan, Faryal Talpur, Agha Siraj Durrani and Mukesh Kumar Chawla.
PPP’s Malik Asad Sikandar has 24 weapons including 19 rifles, three shotguns and two pistols, valued at one million rupees. Noor Ahmad Bhurgari of PPP has 13 weapons including rifles, shotguns and pistols.
Provincial Minister for Mines and Mineral Development Mir Shabbir Ali Bijarani owns 12 weapons while Rana Hamir Singh of the same party has ten weapons. Khan Muhammad Dahri, Faqir Sher Muhammad Bilalani and Jam Khan Shoro of the same party possess seven, five and four weapons respectively.
In Punjab Assembly, seven out of a total of ten members to have declared weapons are from PTI, two from PML-N and one from the PPP. Interestingly, four of the ten members are from Rahim Yar Khan district.
Punjab Government’s spokesman Samsam Bukhari possesses an unspecified number of shotguns and rifles — all either inherited or gifted. Former federal minister Sardar Awais Khan Leghari also possesses an unspecified number of inherited firearms.
The other PTI members on the list include Raza Hussain Bukhari, Mian Shafi Muhammad, Muhammad Ijaz Hussain and Muhammad Ahsan Jehangir.
Muhammad Arshad Javed of PML-N has five unspecified weapons while Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan of the same party has an unspecified number of arms valued at Rs 0.700 million. PPP’s Ghazanfar Ali Khan has two rifles one each of 7.62 mm and 9mm.
Balochistan Assembly’s eight members have declared weapons in their assets’ statements. They include four from BAP and one each from BNP, BNP-A and Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), besides one independent, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, who possesses as many as 13 Kalashnikov rifles.
Mir Sikandar Ali of BAP is the only of them to have weapons worth one million rupees. Saleem Ahmad Khosa (BAP) holds arms worth Rs 0.700 million. Mir Ziaullah (BAP) has six weapons. Mir Muhammad Khan Lehri of the same party has arms worth Rs 0.470 million.
Others on the list include Akhtar Hussain Langove (BNP), Syed Ehsan Shah (BNP-A) and Abdul Khaliq (HDP).
The six members of the assembly include three from PTI and one each from PPP and Awami National Party (ANP) besides one independent.
Provincial Minister Akbar Ayub Khan has three weapons including a repeater rifle and two pistols, one of which is Glock 9mm. His brother Arshad Ayub Khan elected from the adjacent constituency has nine weapons including three rifles, two shotguns and four pistols and revolvers including one Russian made 9mmMakarov pistol.
Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Mahmood Jan owns weapons worth Rs 0.400 million.
ANP’s Muhammad Laiq Khan owns weapons worth Rs four million.
Others on the list include Taj Muhammad of PPP and Amjad Khan (Independent) who has shown the value of his unspecified type and a number of arms and ammunition as Rs 0.550 million.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2019