Punjab Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Shumaila Rana, of the PML-N, has been arrested by the Punjab police for allegedly stealing two credit cards and then going on a shopping spree with them. The PML-N leadership has said that the law will take its course. But this adds one more shocking story to what is already a litany of sorts.
The details are bizarre enough not to need an explanation. According to the Daily Times:
Ghalib Market police on Sunday registered a case against a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) female MPA for allegedly stealing two credit cards from a womanâ€™s wallet and buying jewelery and clothes worth Rs 80,000 on those cards, the police said. The FIR No 551/09 was registered against the MPA under Section 379 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), on the complaint of Muqeet Salam, brother-in-law of Zaira Malik of Canal Bank.
The police said the accused MPA Shumaila Anjum Rana could not be contacted so far… He said Salam alleged in the application that his sister-in-law Zaira was in a fitness club on July 7 and found her credit cards missing from her purse. He said Zaira contacted the bank officials concerned who informed her that transactions worth Rs 80,000 had been made on her credit cards. Salam said the banks also informed Zaira that the accused purchased goods from a shop in Siddique Trade Centre.
The police quoted the complainant as saying that the shop owner showed the recorded CCTV footage to them and finally Zaira identified Shumaila, who is not a member of the club. He said they had also received the records of transactions in which Malikâ€™s credit cards were used.
Interestingly, The Nation reports that Ms. Rana is a member of the Punjab Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Auqaf, and more importantly, that she is also a member of Chief Ministerâ€™s Coordination Committee for the IDPs which deals with the Punjab Chief Ministerâ€™s Fund for the IDPs of NWFP.
The report in The Nation provides more context information:
This time it is not a male parliamentarian, rather to jump into the already-boiling fray of irregularities and illegalities by elected representatives is a female MPA, Shumaila Rana, who was â€˜chosenâ€™ on reserved seats to serve the masses. The Pakistan Muslim League-N has vowed to fulfil all legal formalities in investigating the case. On the other hand, if found guilty, she will lose her seat, as no convicted can become a parliamentarian, and stands disqualified as conviction as per the Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
Previously, it were MNA Haji Pervaiz Khan from Rawalpindi and Minister Prisons Ch Abdul Ghafoor of the N-League, who indulged in impersonation and acted highhandedly at the Lahore Airport respectively. Interestingly, the MNA lost his seat after a committee found him guilty, and the Minister was given honourable exit from the charges by the PML-N leadership despite the fact that the committee found him guilty on more than two accounts. Prior to Shumaila Ranaâ€™s case, another N-Leagueâ€™s MPA Munawar Gill was indicted in a rape case. He is said to have been found innocent in the case.
The first timer to the Punjab Assembly Shumaila Rana, reportedly found guilty of stealing credit card from another femaleâ€™s bag, and indulging in â€˜illegalâ€™ shopping, is member of the Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Auqaf. Moreover, she is also member of Chief Ministerâ€™s Coordination Committee for the Internally-Displaced People, which is an offshoot of Punjab Chief Ministerâ€™s Fund for the IDPs of NWFP.
Unmarried Shumaila Rana is daughter of Hidayat Ali, and she climbed the ladder of becoming an MPA by virtue of her mother Anjum Araâ€™s services to the party, as the latter has been worker of the party for about two decades. Anjum Rana, a retired schoolteacher of a private institute, was not a graduate, and after her successful canvassing for her daughter, a reserved seat was given to Shumaila Rana, who is said to be in her mid-20s. She is the first MPA from this family, and has nothing tangible to her credit for which she should have been given the slot. MPA with humble family background, she has been a vociferous supporter of women rights, and their empowerment. She had also promised to lobby for the charter of demands presented by women farmers recently.