Pakistan politics, the game of Tribal and family affairs

Islamabad: Politics is a game where every participant wants to become a power centre at any cost but interestingly the Pakistani politics seems to tribal or family affair where only Magsi Tribe has 10 members in senate, national and provincial assemblies and holding public offices.

According to a Pakistani newspaper report “Governor Balochistan Zulfiqar Magsi is in a position to form his own small Parliament comprising his brothers, wife, children, and in-laws having representation in provincial assemblies of Balochistan and Sindh as well as in the National Assembly and Senate.”

 They have been elected either on PML-Q/PPP tickets or as independent candidates. Those in provincial assemblies also hold ministerial portfolios. Six out of seven Magsi brothers are actively involved in politics with their other activities like motor sports and hunting.

 The Magsi family has beaten the famous Saifullah brothers of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa in terms of political penetration and representation who have presence in PPP, PML-Q, PML-Likeminded and now also in PTI.

 While Zulfiqar Magsi is governor of Balochistan, his brother Akbar and son Saifullag Magsi are senators. Akabar won Senate slot as independent candidate and Saifullah on PPP ticket. Another of his brothers, Aamir Magsi, is PPP MNA from Larkana as the family is residing on both sides of Balochistan-Sindh border.

 Nadir Magsi, yet another brother of governor Balochistan, is food minister in Sindh who was elected on PPP ticket. Nadir was instrumental in raising Magsi force, a militant outfit, promoted and patronized allegedly by the PPP to contain Hur Force of Pir Pagaro after the death of Gen. Zia-ul Haq. As for their presence in Balochistan, 80% percent of the land of Magsi tribe belongs to this family and the remaining 20% belongs to other families of the tribe, according to Wikipedia.

 Tariq Magsi, another brother of governor Magsi, is MPA of Balochistan Assembly, a position he won as independent candidate. Yet another brother, Khalid Magsi, was district nazim of Jhal Magsi.

 Zulfiqar Magsi s wife, Shama Perveen Magsi is Balochistan minister for information technology and provincial coordination (NGO programme). Her profile on the assembly s website says she is central vice president of PML-Q.

 Shama s sister Rehana Yahya Baloch served as senator from 2006 to 2012 and has recently retired. Rehana has been replaced in the Senate by her sister-in-law, Rubina Irfan, the wife of Agha Irfan Karim, brother of Shama Perveen and Rehana. Irfan Karim who won MPA seat on PPP ticket is Balochistan minister of buildings. Saifullah brothers are only second to Magsi family in terms of divergent political loyalties and presence in assemblies. Salim Saifullah, a leading PML-Likeminded leader, won Senate seat on PML-Q ticket, later parted ways and now retired from Senate in 2012. His younger brother, Humayun Saifullah who also won on PML-Q ticket, is a sitting MNA.

 Another brother, Anwar Saifullah who is son-in-law of Ghulam Ishaq Khan under whose alleged direction Mehran Bank money was distributed to form anti-PPP alliance, is a PPP MPA in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa (KP) Assembly. Anwer s son, Osman Saifullah, has recently been elected as Senator on PPP ticket from Islamabad. Anwer s daughter is married to Omer Ayub, former state minister for finance and political heir to the first military dictator, Gen. Ayub Khan. Ayub s daughter is married to Iqbal Saifullah, Anwer s brother, a cardiologist who runs a private hospital in Islamabad. While Saifullah family already has representation in PPP and PML, Jehangir, son of Javaid Saifullah, has recently joined PTI.

Next come Asif Ali Zardari, Mian Nawaz Sharif, and the Chaudhrys of Gujrat. Asif Zardari, president of Pakistan and co-chairman of PPP, has two sisters in the National Assembly: Faryal Talpur and Dr. Azra Fazl. Munawar Talpur, Faryal s husband, is also a sitting MNA. Zardari s son, Bilawal Bhutto, is heir to the political dynasty, otherwise known as workers party.

Prime Minister Gilani is not lagging behind in the race. His two sons are in the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly. His daughter, Fizza Gilani, is goodwill ambassador of women empowerment. Mian Nawaz Sharif has his daughter Maryam, brother Shehbaz Sharif, nephew, Hamza Shahbaz, and maternal nephew Omer Sohail Zia Butt and others actively involved in political business. Hassan Nawaz, his son, has also started making headlines.

The Chaudhrys of Gujrat have three seats in Parliament. Shujat is a Senator while Pervaiz Elahi and Wajahat Hussain are MNAs as well as federal ministers in the Gilani cabinet. Moonis Elahi, Pervaiz s son and the family s political heir, is MPA in the Punjab Assembly.

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