Marvi resigns her assembly seat
ISLAMABAD: In a dramatic and rare move, a disgruntled legislator of the PML-Q, Marvi Memon, set a new moral precedent by resigning from the National Assembly on Wednesday after voting against the Finance Bill and presenting a long charge-sheet against the government and her party.
As soon as the final counting on the Finance Bill 2011 was made, Marvi Memon, who remained absent throughout the session except on the day when the budget was presented in the National Assembly, said “No” in a loud voice. After this, she, on a point of order, announced resigning from her party and the National Assembly.
“I tried to prevail upon the party leadership to change their decision, but in vain. Now the only honourable course open for me is to resign from the PML membership and also as a member of the National Assembly on the occasion of vote on the budget,” she said amid a loud desk thumping from the PML-N.
The PML-N legislators offered her full support by thumping their desks when she handed over her resignation to Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza. However, Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah asked her as to why she did not resign when a dictator killed Nawab Akbar Bugti. “She did not have the courage while working with the dictator as his crony,” he remarked.
PML-Q parliamentary leader and Minister for Housing and Works Faisal Salah Hayat questioned as to on which moral ground she stood when she got a party ticket from the Punjab while keeping the domicile of Sindh. “She was elected from the Punjab but spent all her development fund in NA-237, Sindh,” he remarked.
In her charge-sheet that she read out in the National Assembly prior to handing over her resignation to the speaker, Marvi Memon said it had been a honour for her to serve as a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since March 2008. “As a first-time parliamentarian, I have honoured the oath I took to perform my functions always in the interest of sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well being and prosperity of Pakistan,” she said.
She, however, said ever since her party leadership’s decision to join the federal government, it had become difficult for her to be true to her oath. “I believe that PML-Q leaders by leaving their role as an opposition party have not lived up to the expectations of millions of voters who reposed trust in them in the February 2008 elections,” she said.
Marvi said she tried to prevail upon the party leadership to change their decision, but in vain. “Now the only honourable course open for me is to resign from PML membership and also as a member of the National Assembly on the occasion of vote on the budget,” she added.
She said abstaining from voting on the budget would practically mean approving it, and with it, tacitly endorsing all government policies and future plans.
She said since she believes that this coalition government is working against the interests of the people of Pakistan, her support for the budget would compromise all her struggle for the people. “I cannot vote against my conscience. I have thus voted against the budget. Just like Marui in Latif Sain’s Shah Jo Risalo, this Marui too cannot compromise the struggle for her marooara (people),” she said.
Marvi Memon said as she had predicted, the PML-Q had not been able to correct the disastrous course of this government. “And they will not be able to do so in future as well. It is my firm belief that the only thing that would continue in the coming months is crass, corrupt politicking to steal the next elections,” she added.
She said the real concerns of the people would continue to be neglected. Therefore, she believes that to be associated with a government which has not followed parliament’s joint resolution mandating action against the Nato forces in case of continued drone attacks, bartering Pakistan’s sovereignty, not protecting its sensitive locations, not keeping its territory protected from foreign forces, would be a travesty.
She said to be associated with a government which has allowed human rights of thousands to be grossly violated by not giving them justice, salaries, minimum wages, regularisations, jobs (Haleema, NPIW, lady health workers, APP, NCHD, NEF, lower education staff, etc), would be subversive.
She said to be associated with a government, which has taken away food and shelter from the poor, fuel from the vehicles, electricity and gas from industry and homes, which has forced people to commit suicides due to its corruption, faulty economic policies, which has forgiven the loan defaulters, which has not been austere, which has not taxed the rich appropriately, including inequitable taxation for agriculture and industry, would be criminal.
Marvi Memon, in her charge-sheet against the government, further said to be associated with a government, which has been completely negligent in its primary responsibilities during natural and national disasters like the Attabad Lake, the recent floods, the Abbottabad crisis, complete breakdown of law and order in all of Pakistan, would be perfidious.
She said the government had abysmally failed to protect its own constitutional office holders, security forces, religious sects, minorities, media and most importantly innocent people from kidnappings, targeted killings and terrorist attacks, and was fighting a directionless war and was compromising with criminals.
She said continuing with the government which has allowed Pakistan’s image to be tarnished internationally, has practically abandoned the valiant people of occupied Kashmir, has let national sovereignty to be chipped away, has not managed its relations with friendly countries like China at its optimal, has not handled the Indian threat with firmness and dignity and has done nothing to counter growing campaign against Pakistan’s nuclear assets, would be treacherous.
Marvi Memon said to be associated with a government which has used provincialism as a political tool, which has not resolved border commission dispute on Diamer Dam, has not fulfilled its promises in Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan or KPK financial revival package or Fata reforms, has not fulfilled its rehabilitation commitments for earthquake 2005 victims, has not fulfilled provincial quota obligations, has discriminated between rural-urban and head-tail for water, has not held anyone accountable in incidents like the AirBlue crash, has not resolved inter-provincial water disputes in line with the 1991 Water Accord, has not passed the National Language Bill accepting the rights of provinces, would be disloyalty.
She said to be associated with a government whose corruption, lack of meritocracy, incompetence have brought the national economy down on its knees, which has mortgaged the coming generations’ future by mindless borrowing, shattered public sector corporations, retarded industrial production, hammered the small farmer and has pushed half of the population in the depths of wretched poverty, would be a perversion.
Marvi said to be associated with a government which has wilfully clashed with the judiciary, has dragged its feet on the Accountability Bill and the bill to prosecute terrorists, and has rendered parliament irrelevant, forcing thousands like herself to get justice from judiciary versus aprliament would be treasonous.
She said to be associated with a government that is run by thugs and commission-mafia, who have lined up their pockets with development funds, deprived people of their fundamental rights such as clean water, schools, health centres, roads, electricity, gas, would be shameful.
Marvi said it was time that the people of Pakistan were freed from this government. She said it was time that sincere, tax-paying Pakistanis unite for Pakistan’s sake. She said it was time they rejected the old politics and espoused new politics, where the definition of politics is serving ones people rather than ruling them. “For the above reasons, I hereby tender my resignation for the sake of the people of AJK, Balochistan, GB, KPK, Punjab, Sindh – my Pakistan,” she said and added that she intends to honour her oath by educating her people on the dangers of supporting a corrupt, inefficient and self-serving government that is happily allowing our homeland to descend into chaos. “I want to impress upon my people through my Karavan-e-Haq that they don’t have to accept a government that robs them daily. That they have a right to clean governance, and that their destiny is in their own hands,” she added.
Source: The News