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Shamim Naqvi’s resignation: Senate election preparations or party differences?

Political parties have started preparations for the Senate elections in the country and the parties are pushing hard for full competition inside and outside of the assemblies. In this regard today an important development came to light when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has sought the resignation of Firdous Shamim Naqvi as Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly to devises a strong strategy ahead of the Senate elections. 

Firdous Shamim Naqvi

Firdous Shamim Naqvi was born on 10 May 1956 in Faisalabad, Pakistan. He received a degree of Bachelor of Engineering from the NED University of Engineering and Technology and a degree of Master of Science from the University of Michigan.

Naqvi, who resigned as Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly, is one of the founding leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He joined PTI as a founding member in 1996 and worked closely with Imran Khan in building the party.

He was President of the PTI Karachi chapter during elections 2018. Under his leadership, PTI won 14 out 21 National Assembly seats and 21 out of 44 Provincial Assembly seats. He was elected to the Provincial Assembly of Sindh as a candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from Constituency PS-101 (Karachi East-III) in the 2018 Pakistani general election.

In September 2018, he resigned as president of the PTI chapter in Karachi. On 5 September 2018, PTI nominated him as leader of the opposition in the Provincial Assembly of Sindh. On 24 September, he was declared as Leader of Opposition. His role in bringing the PTI to power is unforgettable

Naqvi expressed displeasure over the decision

The party had decided to appoint Vice-President PTI for Sindh Haleem Adil Sheikh to challenge the ruling PPP. The parliamentary leader is known for his tough stance against PPP and is expected to be given the new role in Sindh Assembly.

However, Naqvi expressed displeasure over the decision stating that he has served for over two decades and his loyalties remain with the party. It must be mentioned that the PTI has sought his resignation on two occasions and expressed concerns over his performance.

Naqvi said the PTI chief organizer Saifullah Niazi asked him to submit his resignation which he has accepted. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail met Naqvi and conveyed him a message of Prime Minister Imran Khan. In September 2020, it was reported that PTI had sought the resignation of Naqvi on the directives of the prime minister but Naqvi managed to retain the position by convincing party leaders. 

Reports suggested that Naqvi failed to perform well as the Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly, while his controversial statements critical of the party leadership were not welcomed. Several MPAs had also complaints against Naqvi’s harsh attitude towards them.

Naqvi’s role in the Assembly

Despite taking over the charge as Leader of the Opposition in September 2018, Naqvi failed to unite the opposition parties in the Assembly. Under the leadership of Naqvi, PTI could not form a strong opposition in the Sindh Assembly along with MQM and GDA in Karachi, which the opposition took advantage of. This is the reason he is considered a weak opposition leader in the Provincial Assembly.

Senate election

In terms of party position in the Sindh Assembly, PTI seems to be winning 2 seats but political experts say a one-seat victory could be uncertain if PTI members join horse-trading. And if PTI tries, victory in 3 seats can be made possible but even with the opposition members present in the House, Firdous Shamim Naqvi’s relations are not very ideal due to which PTI is not getting more effective ground in Sindh.

It expects said that if Firdous Shamim Naqvi is replaced by a prominent figure in the Sindh Assembly, then the PTI will play a better game. Firdous Shamim Naqvi, who reached the assembly for the first time, was also inexperienced in parliamentary politics.

According to party sources, most members of the Sindh Assembly and activists in Karachi have been unhappy with him, while he has often been seen criticizing his party, ignoring party policies, which is why he was asked to resign.

Possible facts

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) insiders said that party members were not satisfied with Firdous Shamim Naqvi and on the arrival of chief organizer Saifullah Khan Niazi in Karachi, several PTI leaders informed him of their concerns about Firdous Naqvi.

Due to which he has been asked to resign while party sources said that senior PTI leader and parliamentary leader of the party in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh can be nominated as the Leader of the Opposition.

According to party sources, Haleem Adil Sheikh is considered more suitable for giving a tough time to PPP in Sindh due to his aggressive temperament. In all other assemblies, the circumstances are uncomplicated in the light of Section 130 of the Elections Act but the Sindh Assembly, nonetheless, presents a tricky situation.

Here the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), a constituent party of the Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM), is the ruling party holding a clear majority in the house.

The chief minister of Sindh may advise the dissolution of the assembly shortly ahead of the Senate election which may keep a whole province out of the election. Now it is a great challenge for the newly selected Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly how to deal with the risky situation.

If all goes fine, the Pakistan PTI is going to appear as the single largest party in the Senate in elections but it will still be dependent on its coalition parties to settle the top position in the Upper House of Parliament.

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