PM asks president to send Marvi Memon packing as BISP chief | Pakistan Today

PM asks president to send Marvi Memon packing as BISP chief

—Marvi Memon did not resign as BISP chief after dissolution of assemblies on May 31

—Opposition parties say data of more than 5.2 million families registered with BISP can be used for political engineering

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk has sent a summary to President Mamnoon Hussain requesting him to remove Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme (BISP) Chairperson Marvi Memon from the important post.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the federal cabinet held here on Friday, with Nasirul Mulk in the chair.

Sources privy to the development said that the prime minister (PM) took exception to the reports that Marvi Memon had refused to submit her resignation and was continuing to take crucial decisions, despite the fact that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had already completed its tenure.

The sources said that the prime minister sought advice from Law Minister Barrister Ali Zafar and decided to send a formal summary to the president by requesting him to remove Marvi Memon from the post.

Since the previous federal cabinet had ceased to function on May 31 on completion of the five-year term of the PML-N government, Memon had continued working as BISP chairperson under the status of the federal minister.

The sources said that the caretaker setup was under immense pressure from the major opposition parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP), for the removal of the entire bureaucracy that worked under the PML-N government in favour of neutral officials.

In this regard, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had also written a letter to the caretaker premier and requested him to remove some important PML-N leaders from their posts, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Marvi Memon and others.

PPP had also written to the chief election commissioner (CEC), seeking the removal of former member of National Assembly (MNA) Marvi Memon as chairperson of BISP.

A letter, sent by PPP Information Secretary Dr Nafisa Shah, said that Memon did not resign like other cabinet ministers did at the end of the five-year tenure of the PML-N government.

“The BISP is a highly influential programme which disburses payments to 5.2 million families. Due to this, the data could be easily used to manipulate the forthcoming elections. A PML-N supporter continues to hold the office of the chairperson, which is tantamount to election engineering and pre-poll rigging,” the letter reads.

Marvi Memon shot to prominence in 2002 after being elected on a Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) ticket on reserved seats for women. Prior to joining mainstream politics, Marvi was nurtured after winning her first assignment at the army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). She was also very close to former dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf.

Known to be headstrong, Marvi Memon is among those rare woman parliamentarians who work hard while showing aggressive commitment to the tasks assigned to them. Whether she was with Musharraf or with the PML-Q, she worked religiously for the party and attracted media attention when she brought a detailed white paper against the first 100 days of former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.

In 2013 general elections, she campaigned hard for PML-N, particularly in Thatta, but lost to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) after securing over 23,000 votes.

Before joining the PML-N, Marvi had held long talks with the PTI but failed to get a prized slot. She even attended some PTI public gatherings in Sindh but after her failure to win a good slot, she decided to join the PML-N after facilitation by Saad Rafique. Her entry to PML-N came at a time when veteran politician Javed Hashmi had resigned from PML-N and joined PTI.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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