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GUJRAT: At least four women politicians from Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin are likely to be selected as national and provincial lawmakers on reserved seats.
Three-time former MPA, PML-Q’s Khadija Umer Farooqi, is likely to become MPA for the fourth time, while her sister Rabia Farooqi may get selected for the provincial assembly from the PML-N’s platform.
Both sisters are first cousins of senior PML-N leader Khawaja Ahmed Hassaan. Their mother, late Shahana Naseem Farooqi, had served as an MPA in 1988.
Khadija, who lives with her family in Lahore, has been an MPA from the PML-Q in 2002, 2008 as well as in 2014 – after a seat got vacated -- due to her mother’s strong affiliation with the Chaudhrys of PML-Q. Her younger sister Rabia, who is also in Lahore, was once elected as union council nazim from Gujrat city as a PML-Q candidate, but for the last many years was an active part of Lahore chapter of the PML-N women’s wing besides being the party’s member in Lahore Metropolitan Corporation.
Tashfeen Safdar Marala from Kharian, who is the granddaughter of former president Fazal Elahi Chaudhry, is likely to become an MNA from the PTI’s quota of women on reserved seats.
Former MPA Safia Javed Chaudhry takes the second spot on the list of PML-Q’s reserved seats for women in the National Assembly (NA). Her name follows the party’s women’s wing President Farah Khan. However, Ms Safia’s chances of being given a seat in the assembly appear bleak as the party has only four directly elected MNAs and the number is likely to decrease to three after Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi vacates one of his two NA seats – NA-65 Chakwal and NA-69 Gujrat.
Former MNA Samina Fakhar Pagganwala is on the list of PPP’s candidates for reserved women’s seats in the NA from Punjab, but her number is on 10th position. PPP’s Gujrat women’s wing President Wazirunnissa Chaudhry, who contested against Mr Elahi for NA-69, is on the fourth spot on the list of party’s reserved seats candidates in the Punjab Assembly and may not be able to get an MPA’s seat.
Former MPA Basima Riaz Chaudhry from Mandi Bahauddin, who is the niece of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, is on the top of PML-Q’s list of women’s reserved seats in the Punjab Assembly and has bright chances of getting a seat in the House.
Former MPA Faiza Mushtaq Dewan, the daughter of former PML-N MPA Dewan Mushtaq, is also likely to be selected as an MPA from PML-N’s quota of reserved seats for women.
Ms Faiza had been selected as an MPA in 2015 when she was accommodated to pacify her father, who was annoyed with the party earlier. He was roped back into the party before by-polls in NA-108 (now NA-85) after he had defected to the PTI.
The Dewan family strived hard in the elections to get a provincial seat of Mandi Bahauddin city for PML-N candidate Hameeda Waheeduddin.
Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2018