Ominous sign: Forward-bloc in making? | Pakistan Today

Ominous sign: Forward-bloc in making?

Veteran politician Atta Manika quits ministry

LAHORE: In the wake of Panama Leaks investigations against the ruling Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N), there are reports that over two dozen parliamentarians of the Punjab Assembly are considering to leave the party if the verdict comes against the Sharif family.

The resignation tendered by a seasoned politician Mian Atta Muhammad Khan Manika, who is also a sitting minister of PML-N in the Punjab is being regarded as a first drop of rain among some quarters.

According to the details, Punjab Revenue Minister Atta Muhammad Khan Manika has submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The reasons behind his resignation were discriminatory treatment and being marginalised during the last four years of the current political set-up of Punjab.

“It is a matter of record that during these four years I hardly managed to see your good-self only twice, which speaks volumes of the visible shift in your priorities; to send a message down the line about my ineffective political role,” reads the resignation, a copy of which was available with Pakistan Today.

In his resignation, Manika also mentioned the irrelevance of his ministry in the field and said that there is hardly any impact of his ministry in the field.

“Such state of affairs really hurts an old parliamentarian like me who has been playing an important political role throughout the political career,” the resignation added.

However, he made it clear that he would continue to work as an ordinary member of the Assembly.

It is worth mentioning here that Manika is famous for making forward-blocs in the assembly as observed from his past record; he headed the forward-bloc of some forty parliamentarians in the Punjab Assembly during 2008-13.

It has often been observed in the Punjab Assembly that most of the lawmakers complain that they are marginalised and often get discriminatory treatment by the chief minister.

By keeping in view the concerns of the senior lawmakers, as many as 11 new ministers were inducted into the Punjab cabinet in November 2016 to accommodate them before the next elections, due next year.

Moreover, the chief minister has also instructed the chief secretary and other provincial secretaries of all the departments to sit in the assembly to address the grievances of the lawmakers as to appease them before the next elections.

Political Career of Manika:

Hailing from the rural constituency of Pakpattan (PP-227), Manika remained Pakpattan Market Committee Chairman during 1980-83.

He remained Pakpattan District Council chairman during 1991-93 and also served as a member national assembly (MNA) during 1989-90.

Moreover, Manika also served as member provincial assembly during 1993-96, 2002-07, and 2008-13.

It was his fourth term as an MPA when he became a parliamentarian in the elections of 2013. Manika has held a portfolio of Education, Social Welfare and Baitul Maal, Auqaf and Religious Affairs and Revenues.