ISLAMABAD: Strife in Srinagar has provided a windfall for 20 Pakistan MPs. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has nominated them to travel the world, to garner international opinion on the Kashmir issue. Apart from the various political and policy issues, there is concern over the calculating skills of the Prime Minister Secretariat. The official tally counts 20 envoys as 22, a blunder that is repeated in the Pak premier’s statement, which was carried also by many national and international media outlets.
Sharif, who holds the foreign affairs portfolio himself, also has an adviser and a special assistant to help him on Kashmir. Perhaps he believes his lawmakers, the majority of them hailing from South Punjab, can overnight make Russia, China, Turkey, South Africa and others change their views on Kashmir. But the government didn’t consider sending an envoy to India. Sources said it wouldn’t be as lucrative a destination as Europe, America, Africa or the Middle East.
The Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir is mandated to raise the issue at the national and international level. In the last three years, it has spent 175 million rupees on three meetings, 21 press statements and numerous foreign trips. Its allocation for 2016 is 600 million rupees, with a large chunk spent on the salaries of its 38 staff members.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who heads the committee, enjoys the status of a federal minister. His perks include a 1300cc car, 360 litres of petrol a month and a plush home in the ministers’ colony in Islamabad. Sources in the Secretariat said that instead of holding the committee accountable, the government is rewarding with fancy junkets, its political allies who were promised perks during the elections but never got around it.
Son of military dictator Ziaul Haq and former religious affairs minister in the Musharraf government. He won the election from Bahawalnagar as head of the PML-Zia joined government but wasn’t given any ministry. He will go to Brussels, Belgium.
First-time MP, hails from Khushab, Punjab. He is the son of former minister of Women Development Sumaira Malik. Sumaira had won National Assembly seat in 2013 but was later disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on account of her fake degree. Uzair Malik will accompany Haq to Belgium.
he was the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 2004 to 2007 in the Musharraf government. Prior to entering politics he qualified as a Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, London. He is from a city in Southern Punjab’s Saraiki belt Rahim Yar Khan and is headed to Beijing, China.
Alam Dad Laleka contested the 2013 polls on a PML-N ticket from Bahawalnagar. Recently the MNA approached the Punjab chief minister for initiating action against District Police Officer Bahawalnagar, Shariq Kamal who arrested his close aide. But for now he shouldn’t worry about DPO as he’s going to Beijing.
He is from Khanewal, Punjab, and has served as a Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in the Musharraf government. He then served as Minister of Housing and Works in the last coalition government of Pakistan People’s Party and PML-Q. He is now assigned to Moscow, Russia.
He hails from Toba Tek Singh, Punjab. He was elected a member of national assembly on a ticket of PMLN in 2013. He is, at present, envoy for Moscow in Russia.
Member of the National Assembly from Kahirpur is the only PPP member among the envoys. He will head to Moscow to highlight the Kashmir issue. In a TV show, he recenty said that he doesn’t know about Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti, separatist leader Asiya Andrabi or Shimla agreement or Lahore declaration.
Chairman of the Kashmir Committe, he leads the conservative Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F). Rehman’s party is part of the PMLN-led national coalition. Rehman previously served as Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2007. He will be visiting Saudi Arabia.
In 2002, Iqbal became the State Minister for Environment and later the Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas in the cabinet of PM Jamali. In 2013, he was re-elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan. Iqbal will accompany Fazlur Rehman to Saudi Arabia.
He is a PMLN member National Assembly from Lahore. While, he is also on the Saudi Arabia team, back home he is chairman of the Punjab Steering Committee on Wildlife.
First-time parliamentarian, elected a member on a ticket of PMLN from Sargodha. He is headed to Ankara, Turkey.
Member of national assembly from Lahore. He belongs to Pakistan Muslim League-N and is expected to highlight the Kashmir issue during his visit to Ankara.
He has been appointed to raise the Kashmir issue in the United Kingdom. The retd general joined politics in April 2012 and is now a Senator of the ruling PML-N.
He is a member of National Assembly from Chiniot. Sheikh is the Chairman of the National Assembly standing committee on Finance and will be going to London, the UK.
Mushahid Hussain Syed One of the few stars on Nawaz Sharif’s envoy list is Senator Mushahid Hussain. He is a journalist and geo-strategist with knowledge of foreign policy and diplomacy. His base will be the United States and UN.
Shazra Mansab Ali Khan MNA from Nankana Sahib in Punjab she has strong political lineage and will be accompanying Mushahid Hussain to New Yourk, USA and the United Nations.
Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari He is the former IT minister. He was promised a lot after joining the PML-N and was only able to secure chairmanship of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. He will visit the UN offices in Geneva to highlight the plight of the Kashmiris.
Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju, another first-time MNA from Lodhran, has been tasked to visit Pretoria, South Africa. He also joined the PML-N ranks after winning the elections as an independent candidate. His constituents complaint that he hasn’t fulfilled his poll promises.
She is also a first time MNA from PML-N. She was elected on reserved Women’s seat and is expected to go to France.
He is an elected member of national assembly of PML-N from Faisalabad and is not part of any foreign affairs forum in the assembly. He is part of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s envoy to France.