ISLAMABAD: For the first time in his political career, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh is using all his persuasive skills to woo voters to be elected his senator. Although he has been elected to the Senate through indirect elections on several occasions in the past, he has never made such a personal effort as he does today.
This is a whole new area for technocrats. It is not in his mood to reach out to members of the Electoral College to ask for votes.
Sheikh’s last election was exceptionally easy and smooth because he did not face a strong opponent. Whether he was fielded by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) or the PML-Q, he was able to win without much trouble due to the impressive numerical strength of his sponsored parliamentary party.
This time too, the ruling coalition led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which has nominated him as its candidate, has a majority in the National Assembly. However, the entry of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the joint candidate of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), has turned the contest into a fierce confrontation on his face – or at least now the impression is similar. Creating
Whether Sheikh or Gilani wins or loses, tarnishing each other’s power will be hailed as a great achievement that has a serious impact on domestic politics. Will be. The immediate challenge for both parties is to win the actual number of votes cast. And if they succeed and are limited to their own numbers, the sheikhs will surely take that day.
Meanwhile, Sheikh has recently apparently traveled to meet members of the National Assembly (MNA). His visit to Faisalabad was accompanied by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and a couple of federal ministers, which meant that angry MPs had to be persuaded to vote. Sheikh also met the PML-Q’s Chaudhrys in Gujarat to ensure that his party members support him. He called on the leaders of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) for the same purpose. All these parliamentary parties are allies of the ruling party. Prime Minister Imran Khan had asked Sheikh to personally approach the decision makers of the coalition parties so that no one would later complain that the contestant had not approached him himself.
Sheikh is a complete technocrat and has always preferred to stay away from politics. They only talk about politics when they talk about the ‘destruction’ of the economy by previous governments. Ironically, he has been part of some of these governments as finance minister. He had in the past been heard making political speeches while presenting the federal budget in the National Assembly. But under the current government, he did not get the opportunity because he is an adviser to the prime minister who cannot present a budget.
For a variety of reasons, successive governments treated the Sheikh like a chaos to cure all the ills of the economy and included him in the cabinet, leaving him in charge of the finance portfolio. He has served political and military governments alike.
He was a finance adviser during the previous PPP government. Since he could not present the federal budget as an advisor, the PPP elected him a senator. The current administration also appointed him a finance adviser and later added him as an unelected finance minister, a position under which he can only serve six months under the constitution. He was later given a cabinet post to be elected senator.
In 2000, he was made Minister of Finance and Planning in Sindh under the military government. He was elected to the Senate from Sindh in March 2003 as a PML-Q candidate. He was a member of the Senate between 2003 and 2006. Later, in April 2003, he was made Federal Minister for Privatization in the Musharraf government. In March, Sheikh was re-elected to the Senate from Sindh as a PPP candidate. He was a senator between 2006 and 2012. In March 2010, he was made Finance Minister in the Yousuf Raza Gilani government. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2012 as a PPP candidate from Sindh. He was a senator between 2012 and 2016. In February 2013, he resigned as finance minister at the end of the PPP government.