Two PTI dissidents among eight elected chairpersons of NA bodies

Published July 1, 2022
PTI dissident MNAs Ahmed Hussain Deharr (R) and  Javaria Zafar Aheer (L). — Photo cpurtesy NA website
PTI dissident MNAs Ahmed Hussain Deharr (R) and Javaria Zafar Aheer (L). — Photo cpurtesy NA website

ISLAMABAD: Two dissidents of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf were among the eight lawmakers elected on Thursday as chairpersons of eight standing committees of the National Assembly.

The committees had become headless after the en masse resignations of the PTI members at the time of the election of Shehbaz Sharif as the new prime minister in April.

According to the National Assembly Secretariat’s separate handouts, PTI MNA from Multan Ahmed Hussain Deharr has been “elected” as chairman of the standing committee on interior, whereas PTI’s Javaria Zafar Aheer, elected on women reserved seats, has become chairperson of the committee on information and broadcasting.

Both Mr Deharr and Javaria Zafar were found to be the most vocal MNAs who harshly criticised former prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan during the three-week long budget session of the National Assembly concluded on June 29.

PM appoints 18 lawmakers as parliamentary secretaries

Noor Alam Khan, another most vocal critic of the PTI chairman, has already been “elected” as chairman of the most powerful parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.

Besides them, another PTI dissident Raja Riaz is currently functioning as the opposition leader in the assembly.

Others who were “elected” chairmen of the standing committees are: Mian Najeebuddin Awasi (economic affairs division), Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah (industries and production), Muhammad Jamaluddin (states and frontier regions), Raza Rabbani Khar (commerce), Mehmood Bashir Virk (law and justice) and Syed Imran Ahmad Shah (religious affairs and interfaith harmony).

Following the ouster of the PTI government through a successful vote of no confidence in April, all the committees of the National Assembly had become incomplete with more than 60 per cent of them without heads, either because of the resignations of the PTI lawmakers or the inclusion of their chairmen in the federal cabinet.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also appointed 18 lawmakers as parliamentary secretaries for various ministries and divisions. These new parliamentary secretaries belong to all the parties in the ruling coalition.

Those appointed as parliamentary secretaries are: Malik Sohail Khan (aviation), Ali Zahid (defence), Choudhary Faqir Ahmed (economic affairs), Hamid Hameed (petroleum), Irfan Dogar (power), Zaib Jafar (federal education and professional training, national heritage and culture), Rana Iradat Sharif (finance and revenue), Chaudhry Shahbaz Babar (information and broadcasting), Muhammad Sajjad (interior), Mehnaz Akbar Aziz (law and justice), Saad Waseem (parliamentary affairs), Chaudhry Khalid Javed (planning, development and special initiatives), Kiran Imran Dar (railways), Afreen Khan (religious affairs and interfaith harmony), Syed Mehmood Shah (housing and works), Asmatullah (states and frontier regions), Shahida Akhtar Ali (communications) and Dr Shahnaz Baloch (science and technology).

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2022

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