WPC Pakistan

Seventh Phase

Women’s Parliamentary History

The Seventh Phase – The Post 2000 Democracy

Eventually, curtains were called on the democratic set-up when the government of Mian Nawaz Sharif was dismissed through the fourth military coup on October 12, 1999. Parliament was only restored in 2002 with major amendments in the 1973 Constitution, brought in shape of a “Legal Framework Order 2002”. Under this LFO, the long-standing popular demand of reserving seats for women was accepted in principle. It had been demanded that women should be given at least 33% representation. However, the LFO agreed to 17%, devoting 60 seats in a 342-Member National Assembly and 17 in a 100-Member Senate. Under this new arrangement, election procedure for these reserved seats was also changed and “List System” was introduced. The emerging parliamentary groups, thus, were to get these seats in proportion to their general representation in the House.

Elections were held on October 10, 2002 and this time, the tally of women returning from the General Seats, improved in a considerable number, crossing the double-digit figure for the first time. Initially, 13 women were elected. However, one of them, Ms. Eman Wasim vacated her seat, enabling Mr. Shaukat Aziz’s eventual election as the country’s Prime Minister.

 Women Members Elected on General Seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan 2002-2007

Sr. No. Name Constituency
1 Ms. Eman Wasim (PML-Q) (resigned in 2004) NA-59 Attock-III
2 Ms. Sumaira Malik (NA) NA-69 Khushab-I
3 Mst. Ghulam Bibi Bharwana (PML-Q) NA-87 Jhang-II
4 Ms. Saima Akhtar Bharwana (Ind) NA-90 Jhang-V
5 Ms. Riffat Javaid Kahlon (PML-Q) NA-117 Narowal-III
6 Ms. Samina Khalid Ghurki (PPP-P) NA-130 Lahore-XIII
7 Ms. Rubina Shaheen Wattoo (Ind) NA-147 Okara-V
8 Mrs. Khalida Mohsin Ali (PPP-P) NA-176 Muzafargarh-I
9 Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar (PML-Q) NA-177 Muzafargarh-II
10 Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho (PPP-P) NA-213 Nawabshah-I
11 Mrs. Shamshad Sattar Bachani (PPP-P) NA-223 Hyderabad-VI
12 Dr. Fehmida Mirza (PPP-P) NA-225 Badin-II
13 Ms. Zubaida Jalal (PML-Q) Na-272 Kech-cum-Gawadar

Source: Library of National Assembly of Pakistan Records

Besides, another 60 women were also elected as Members of the National Assembly on Reserved Seats.

 Women Members Elected on Reserved Seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan 2002-2007

Sr. No. Name Constituency
1 Ms. Mehnaz Rafi (PML-Q) Punjab
2 Dr. Hajira Tariq Aziz (PML-Q) Punjab
3 Ms. Tanzeela Aamir Cheema (PML-Q) Punjab
4 Dr. Donya Aziz (PML-Q) Punjab
5 Ms. Kashmala Tariq (PML-Q) Punjab
6 Dr. Saira Tariq (PML-Q) Punjab
7 Mrs. Riffat Amjad (PML-Q) Punjab
8 Dr. Attiya Inayatullah  (PML-Q) Punjab
9 Ms. Bushra Rehaman (PML-Q) Punjab
10 Ms. Farzeen Ahmed Sarfaraz (PML-Q) Punjab
11 Shahzadi Umer Zadi Tiwana (PML-Q) Punjab
12 Ms. Raheela Munawar (PML-Q) Punjab
13 Prof. Aasiya Azeem (PML-Q) Punjab
14 Dr. Firdaus Ashiq Awan (PML-Q) Punjab
15 Begum Tehmina Dasti (PML-Q) Punjab
16 Ms. Onaza Ehsan (PML-Q) Punjab
17 Ms. Bushra Anwar Sipra (PML-Q) Punjab
18 Dr. Rozina Tufail (PML-Q) Punjab
19 Ms. Tahira Asif (PML-Q) Punjab
20 Ms. Naheed Khan (PPP-P) Punjab
21 Ms. Beelum Hasnain (PPP-P) Punjab
22 Ms. Shakeela Khanum Rashid (PPP-P) Punjab
23 Ms. Fauzia Habib (PPP-P) Punjab
24 Ms. Mehreen Anwar Raja (PPP-P) Punjab
25 Ms. Yasmeen Rehman (PPP-P) Punjab
26 Begum Shahnaz Shaikh (PPP-P-P) Punjab
27 Ms. Rukhsana Bangash (PPP-P) Punjab
28 Ms. Naseem Chaudhary (PPP-P) Punjab
29 Ms. Samia Raheel Qazi (MMA) Punjab
30 Ms. Maimoona Hashmi (PML-N) Punjab
31 Begum Ishrat Ashraf (PML-N) Punjab
32 Begum Tehmina Daultana (PML-N) Punjab
33 Begum Rehana Aleem Mashhadi (PML-J) Punjab
34 Ms. Meena Laghari (NA) Punjab
35 Ms. Ayla Malik (NA) Punjab
36 Ms. Fiza Junejo (PML-Q) Sindh
37 Ms. Shery Rehman (PPP-P) Sindh
38 Ms. Ruqaia Khanum Soomro (PPP-P) Sindh
39 Ms. Fauzia Wahab (PPP-P) Sindh
40 Ms. Rubina Saddat Qaimkhani (PPP-P) Sindh
41 Ms. Nafisa Munawar Raja (PPP-P) Sindh
42 Ms. Shagufta Jumani (PPP-P) Sindh
43 Dr. Farida Ahmed (MMA) Sindh
44 Ms. Aisha Munawar (MMA) Sindh
45 Ms. Shamim Akhtar (MQM) Sindh
46 Ms. Afsar Begum (MQM) Sindh
47 Ms. Shabina Talat (MQM) Sindh
48 Ms. Gul-e-Farkhanda (NA) Sindh
49 Ms. Khurshid Afghan (PML-F) Sindh
50 Ms. Zaib Gohar Ayub (PML-Q) N.W.F.P.
51 Sayyada Farhana Khalid Banoori (MMA) N.W.F.P.
52 Ms. Razia Aziz (MMA) N.W.F.P.
53 Nayyar Sultan (MMA) N.W.F.P.
54 Ms. Jamila Ahmed (MMA) N.W.F.P.
55 Ms. Ambareen Naseem (MMA) N.W.F.P.
56 Ms. Inayat Begum (MMA) N.W.F.P.
57 Ms. Shahida Akhtar Ali (MMA) N.W.F.P.
58 Dr. Noor Jahan Panezai (PML-Q) Balochistan
59 Ms. Imrana Khawar (MMA) Balochistan
60 Ms. Bilqees Saif (MMA) Balochistan

Source: Library of National Assembly of Pakistan Records

In addition to the above, Ms. Asiya Nasir was also elected on one of the seats reserved for the Minorities.

In the re-constituted Senate as well, 17 women (4 from each province and 1 from the Federal Capital) were elected. Table XVI reflects all the names of women Senators, who served during the six years for their respective terms.

 Women Senators Elected on Reserved Seats in the Senate of Pakistan 2003-2009

Sr. No. Name Constituency
1 Dr. Nighat Agha (retired in 2006) Punjab
2 Ms. Gulshan Saeed Punjab
3 Ms. Rozina Alam Khan Punjab
4 Ms. Saadia Abbasi Punjab
5 Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar (elected in 2006) Punjab
6 Ms. Abida Saif (retired in 2006) Sindh
7 Bibi Yasmeen Shah Sindh
8 Engr. Rukhsana Zubairi Sindh
9 Ms. Nighat Mirza (retired in 2006) Sindh
10 Ms. Tanveer Khalid (elected in 2006) Sindh
11 Ratna Bhagwandas (elected in 2006) Sindh
12 Ms. Sameen Yousuf Siddiqui (elected in 2006) Sindh
13 Ms. Anisa Zaib Tahirkheli N.W.F.P.
14 Dr. Kausar Firdaus N.W.F.P.
15 Ms. Fauzia Fakhar-uz-Zaman N.W.F.P.
16 Ms.Mumtaz Bibi (retired in 2006) N.W.F.P.
17 Ms. Afia Zia (elected in 2006) N.W.F.P.
18 Ms. Pari Gul Agha Balochistan
19 Ms. Kalsoom Parveen Balochistan
20 Ms. Roshan Khursheed Barocha
(retired in 2006)
21 Ms. Shereen Noor (retired in 2006) Balochistan
22 Ms. Raheela Yahya Baluch (elected in 2006) Balochistan
23 Ms. Sabina Rauf (elected in 2006) Balochistan
24 Ms. Tahira Latif Federal Capital

Source: Library of Senate of Pakistan Records

Hence, with a total of 74 women Members and some 17 Senators at one given time, this was the highest number of female representation, ever achieved in the corridors of power. Consequently, many women were included in the Federal Cabinet, appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries and also elected as Chairpersons of various Standing Committees. Ms. Zubaida Jalal remained a Federal Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali while Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar was appointed as Advisor. She was later inducted as full Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, which also had Ms. Sumaira Malik and Ms. Zubaida Jalal as Federal Ministers and Ms. Hina Rabani Khar, Ms. Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Ms. Anisa Zaib Tahirkheli and Ms. Shahnaz Sheikh as Ministers of State. Besides, 6 other women Members were made Parliamentary Secretaries while 9 were elected as Chairpersons of the National Assembly’s Standing Committees.

A move to establish a Women’s Parliamentary Caucus was also made during this time period but remained unsuccessful in the deeply polarised political scenario.


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