Monitor on Political Parties’ Internal Democracy: November 2015

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This monitor is meant to identify key developments during the month on Internal Democracy of Political Parties in Pakistan. In this issue:

  1. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – Disciplinary Committee
  2. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – Short code acquired for intra-party elections
  3. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – Organiser replaced for party’s Balochistan chapter
  4. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar’s position as PTI Punjab Provincial Organiser
  5. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – Protests by the KP Chapter of the party
  6. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – Show-cause notice served to PML-N lawmakers
  7. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – 49th Foundation Day
  8. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – Office of the President of PPP-Parliamentarians
  9. Jamiat UIema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) – Suspension of Maulana Abdul Wasay’s party membership, JUI-F Leader of Opposition in the Balochistan Assembly

 
 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – Disciplinary Committee

A disciplinary committee set up by the Chairman Mr. Imran Khan and headed by PTI’s National Organiser Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been actively enforcing discipline within the party. Members of this committee include Additional Central Organiser Mr. Saifullah Niazi and Secretary Information Mr. Naeemul Haq. This committee was formed for the purpose of evaluating the conduct of senior members of the party during the Local Government elections. According to media reports and press releases issued by the PTI central secretariat, actions have been taken against the following members of the party1:

  1. Mr. Amjad Afridi, MPA – Expulsion from the party for his conduct in Kohat district
  2. Mr. Shehryar Afridi, MNA – Reprimanded for his conduct
  3. Mr. Ziaullah Bangash, MPA – Reprimanded for his conduct
  4. Senator Azam Khan Swati – Reprimanded for his conduct
  5. Mr. Arif Yousaf, MPA – Reprimanded for his conduct
  6. Mr. Yasin Khalil, MPA – Barred from holding any position in the party or the government
  7. Mr. Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, Deputy Secretary Information and PTI Organiser NA-56 Rawalpindi – Removed from his positions for violating party discipline
  8. Mr. Rana Raheel, PTI Organiser Rahimyar Khan – Removed from his position for violating party discipline
  9. Mr. Ahmed Ali Dareshak, PTI Organiser Dera Ghazi Khan – Removed from his position for violating party discipline


Senator Azam Khan Swati

 
 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – Short code acquired for intra-party elections

According to media reports, PTI has acquired a short code 9008 from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in order to send direct messages to people across the country. This code will be specifically used to let members of the party cast their votes in the intra-party polls that have been due for quite some time now.2 On November 25, 2015, Chairman Imran Khan addressed a youth convention in Lahore and announced that his party will hold intra-party polls soon after a new membership drive.3 Mr. Asad Umar, PTI MNA has been reported to have said that the party polls are expected to take place soon after the completion of Local Government elections in the country.

 
 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – Organiser replaced for party’s Balochistan chapter


Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind and Mr. Humayun Jogezai

In May 2015, when PTI Chairman Imran Khan dissolved all elected bodies of the party on account of PTI Election Tribunal’s results, Mr. Humayun Jogezai was appointed as provincial organiser for Balochistan and an organising committee under his convenor-ship was formed. According to media reports, PTI Central Organiser aka Secretary General Mr. Jahangir Khan Tareen, issued a notification saying that PTI’s organising committee had been dissolved in Balochistan and a new organiser, Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, was appointed as the province’s new organiser. Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind will be forming a new organising committee with the consultation of all PTI leadership, as per the notification.4 Before Mr. Humayun Jogezai was appointed as Organiser for Balochistan, Mr. Qasim Khan Suri was the elected president of PTI’s Balochistan chapter who was removed from his position in January 2014. Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind joined PTI on October 16, 2015 and just after 22 days was nominated head of the party in Balochistan province by Mr. Imran Khan, that is, on November 7, 2015. Earlier Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar was nominated party head of the largest province of Pakistan – Punjab, just three months after he joined PTI.

 
 Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar’s position as PTI Punjab provincial Organiser


Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar

Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar had joined PTI on February 10, 2015 soon after he resigned as the Governor of the Punjab province. He was appointed as PTI organiser in Punjab only 3 months later.5 According to Section 5 of the Political Parties Order of 2002, a person cannot be appointed or serve as an office-bearer of a political party if he is not qualified to be, or is disqualified from being, elected or chosen as a member of the Parliament under Article 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan. Article 63 (k) states that a person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Parliament, if he has been in the service of Pakistan or of any statutory body or any body which is owned or controlled by the government or in which the government has a controlling share or interest, unless a period of two years has elapsed since he ceased to be in such service.

 
 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – Protests by the KP Chapter of the party


The PML-N chapter in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) staged a protest outside the Press Club in Islamabad on November 20, 2015 in order to raise their concerns in front of the central leadership of the party. According to media reports, the Vice President of PML-N in KP Mr. Waqif Khan has said that the grievances of party workers in the province were being ignored and that fresh intra-party elections should be held so that their issues can be addressed.6 However, this protest failed to draw any attention from the central leadership of PML-N and the disgruntled workers have planned another protest on December 15, 2015 in Islamabad. Mr. Wasif Khan has reported to the media that PML-N central leaders Engineer Amir Muqam, Secretary General Senator Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and KP Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan, were not ready to listen to the complaints of workers.

 
 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – Show-cause notice served to PML-N lawmakers

On November 20, 2015, show-cause notices were served to those PML-N lawmakers who were absent on the day of National Assembly Speaker’s election on November 9, 2015 and did not cast their votes. Notices have been issued from PML-N Chief and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the following PML-N leaders:

  1. Captain Safdar, MNA
  2. Ms. Shaista Pervaiz, MNA
  3. Ms. Seema Gillani, MNA
  4. Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, MNA and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources
  5. Ms. Marvi Memon, MNA
  6. Mir Zafarullah Jamali, MNA

 
 Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – 49th Foundation Day


PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing PPP rally on PPP Foundation Day in Karachi, November 30, 2015

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) celebrated its Foundation Day on November 30 by holding rallies across the city of Karachi spread over a period of two days: November 29th – November 30th, 2015. As per tradition, the Foundation Day was planned to be celebrated in Lahore but was cancelled due to Local Government elections. The Vice President of the party, Ms. Sherry Rehman, was one of the leading figures on both days along with Mr. Nisar Khuhro, Mian Rashid Rabbani, Mr. Sajid Jokhyo, Mr. Najme Alam and Mr. Akhunzada Chattan. Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed the party workers on November 30, 2015 in a 30-minute speech in which he highlighted the need for a new approach and enthusiasm in Pakistan through the country’s youth.7 Co-chairman Mr. Asif Ali Zardari continues to remain absent from the country and issued a message through PPP’s Media Cell on the eve of the Foundation Day, that is November 29, 2015, in which he highlighted the need for stopping the misuse of religion-based laws.8


PPP Vice President, Ms. Sherry Rehman leading a PPP rally in Karachi on November 29, 2015

 
 Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – Office of the President of PPP-Parliamentarians

PPP’s electoral counterpart, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian, registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), was formed in 2002 after the Political Parties Order (2002) was passed and before the General Election of 2002. Makhdoom Amin Faheem was made its President and Raja Pervez Ashraf its Secretary General in order to contest the election from its platform since the PPP under the leadership of Ms. Benazir Bhutto was unable to get registered with the ECP. After the demise of Makdoom Amin Fahim on November 21, 2015, the office of the President has fallen vacant. The constitution of the PPPP is an inadequate document of 5 pages with 9 articles and does not sufficiently describe its intra-party structures and procedures. Now may be the right time for the party members to end the persistent confusion of two separate entities of the same party.

 
 Jamiat Uiema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) – Suspension of Maulana Abdul Wasay’s party membership, Leader of the Opposition in Balochistan Assembly


Molana Abdul Wasay

Differences appear to have arisen in the Balochistan chapter of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) that is being headed by Maulana Faiz Mohammad on the issue of the Murree Accord.9 According to media reports, the basic membership of Maulana Abdul Wasay, Leader of the Opposition in Balochistan Assembly was suspended on account of violation of discipline on November 1, 2015. However, Maulana Abdul Wasay refused to accept the decision of his suspension saying that, according to the amended party constitution, the provincial leadership of the party did not have the power to suspend him from the party. A press conference was held on November 3, 201510 at the residence of Sardar Abdul Rehman Khan, a lawmaker of JUI-F, where Maulana Abdul Wasay responded by saying that only the party’s central leadership had the constitutional power to suspend the membership of a member found to be involved in violation of party discipline. As he had not heard from the Central Ameer of JUI-F Maulana Fazlur Rehman, he still was as member of the party in good standing.

PILDAT was informed by the party Secretary General Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri that no such amendment was made in the constitution and the provincial leadership of the party had the full constitutional authority to suspend a member of the party. Hence, Maulana Abdul Wasay’s membership stands suspended. However, Maulana Abdul Wasay did attend the 22nd session of Balochistan Assembly held November 6 – November 20, 2015.

 

References:

  1. PTI Disciplinary action against lawmakers, DAWN, November 9, 2015, as accessed on November 30, 2015 at http://www.dawn.com/news/1218399/ptis-disciplinary-action-against-lawmakers

  2. PTI gets short code to contact people through SMS, The News, November 9, 2015, as accessed on November 30, 2015 at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-350249-PTI-gets-short-code-to-contact-people-through-SMS

  3. PTI to re-hold intra-party polls, DAWN, November 26, 2015, as accessed on November 30, 2015 at http://www.dawn.com/news/1222320

  4. Rind to head PTI in Balochistan, DAWN, November 8, 2015, as accessed on November 30, 2015 at http://www.dawn.com/news/1218268

  5. Imran Khan announces interim PTI organizational set up, Geo TV, May 23, 2015, as accessed on November 5, 2015 at http://www.geo.tv/article-185746-Imran-Khan-announces-interim-PTI-organisational-set-up

  6. PML-N KP workers adamant to hold sit-in on Nov 20, Express Tribune, November 18, 2015, as accessed on November 30, 2015 at http://tribune.com.pk/story/993444/pml-n-k-p-workers-adamant-to-hold-sit-in-on-nov-20/

  7. PPP will resist move to privatise PIA, Pakistan Steel: Bilawal, DAWN, December 1, 2015, as accessed on December 1, 2015 at http://www.dawn.com/news/1223383/ppp-will-resist-move-to-privatise-pia-pakistan-steel-bilawal

  8. Zardari calls for preventing misuse of religion-based laws, DAWN, November 30, 2015, as accessed on December 1, 2015 at http://www.dawn.com/news/1223244/zardari-calls-for-preventing-misuse-of-religion-based-laws

  9. JUI-F suspends Maulana Wasey’s membership, DAWN, November 3, 2015, as accessed on November 30, 2015 at http://www.dawn.com/news/1217118/jui-f-suspends-maulana-waseys-membership

  10. Maulana Wasey says he’s still member of JUI-F, DAWN, November 4, 2015, as accessed on November 30, 2015 at http://www.dawn.com/news/1217375


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