MNA`s family a major political force in cantt
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By Aamir Yasin | 8/27/2016 12:00:00 AM
RAWALPINDI: Following the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board`s (RCB) vice presidential elections on Friday, MNA Malik Abrar`s family has emerged as an important political family in the cantonment areas.

Now Mr Abrar is the MNA from NA-54, while his brother Malik Iftikhar is the MPA from PP-10 and their brother-inlaw Malik Munir is now the vice president of the RCB.

Affiliated with the Maryam Nawaz group, Mr Abrar has become a prominent politician, involved in the administrative matters of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

An MNA from the cantonment areas, the PML-N led government appointed Mr Abrar chairman of the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA)for the city areas-andignored city politicians such as Malik Shakil Awan, Haji Pervaiz and Sardar Naseem.

His brother-in-law, RCB Vice President Mr Munir, is not an elected member because he became a board member on a seatreservedforpeasants.

The election for the board`s vice president was held on Friday during a board meeting chaired by Brig Hassan Raza.

Ten elected members participated in the meeting, which was not attended by former vice president Raja Jehandad Khan.

The board, which consists of 12 elected members and 12 nominated members from the military and civilian bureaucracy, operates under the board president, the Rawalpindi station commander. Two months ago, on June 27, Raja Jehandad Khan was voted out on a no-confidence motion, with 11 members voting in favour of ousting Mr Khan with a show of hands.

According to RCB spokesperson Qaiser Mehmood, elected member Malik Usman presented Mr Munir`s name during the meeting for the vice president position and all the present board members endorsed him with a show of hands.

The PML-N won all the seats from the Rawalpindi cantonment in the April 2015 elections, but internal divisions sent packing former vice president Mr Khan also from the PML-N --within a year.

After the no-confidence motion, four members emerged as vice presidential candidates: Mr Munir, Rasheed Ahmed, Haji Zafar Iqbal and Hafiz Hussain Ahmed. The PML-N gave Mr Abrar the authority to choose the suitable candidate.

The decision was made during a late-night meeting at the Islamabad Club, where Mr Abrar invited all the board members to finalise the candidate`s name, to ensure that he would run unopposed. Former vice president Mr Khan, however, has complained about limiting power to a single family, saying this was against democratic norms. `A conspiracy was hatched against me, and now it has become clear that all the public offices have gone to one family,` he told Dawn.

`The peasant member cannot become the vice president of the board, and the special board meeting is against the law because a notincation should beissued three days before to invite members for the elected members,` he added.

Mr Abrar was not available to comment despite repeated attempts.