Fifth Phase

Women’s Parliamentary History

The Fifth Phase – Third Marshal Law and the Non-Party Assembly of 1985

This Assembly proved short-lived and was dismissed just after three months with the imposition of Martial Law on July 5, 1977 and the subsequent suspension of the Constitution. The political activities were resumed in 1985 when elections were held on non-party basis in 1985 to elect an Assembly, comprising of a total of 237 Members. In these elections, two women were elected on the General Seats, namely:  

Women Members on General Seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan 1985- 1988

Sr. No. Name Constituency
1 Begum Abida Hussain NA-76 Jhang – IV
2 Begum Nasim Majid Akhtar NA-146 Bahawalnagar – V (Elected in by-election)

Source: Library of National Assembly of Pakistan Records

Begum Nasim Majid was also later appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for Housing & Works.

It was also at that time that the select portions of the 1973 Constitution were revived under the Revival of Constitution Order (P.O.14 of 1985), which also increased the reserved seats for women from 10 to 20. Consequently, women entered in the central legislature in a considerable number.

 Women Members on Reserved Seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan 1985- 1988

Sr. No. Name Constituency
1 Begum Afsar Raza Qazalbash Punjab
2 Begum Sarwari Sadiq Punjab
3 Begum Silvat Sher Ali Khan Punjab
4 Mrs. Khurshid Begum Punjab
5 Mrs. Dureshahwar Mazari Punjab
6 Mrs. Rafia Tariq Punjab
7 Begum Rehana Aleem Mashahdi Punjab
8 Shahzadi Mehmooda Begum Punjab
9 Begum Ishrat Ashraf Punjab
10 Dr. Attiya Inayatullah Punjab
11 Mrs. Farrukh Mukhtar Punjab
12 Mrs. Nisar Fatima Zahra Punjab
13 Mrs. Afroze Nazir Ahmad Sindh
14 Begum Salma Ahmad Sindh
15 Mrs. Rashida Pasha Khoro Sindh
16 Mrs. Qamar-un-Nisa Qamar Sindh
17 Mrs. Bilquis Nasar-um-Minallah N.W.F.P.
18 Begum Kalsoom Saifullah N.W.F.P.
19 Dr. Miss. Noor Jahan Panazai Balochistan
20 Bilqees Begum Balochistan

Source: Library of National Assembly of Pakistan Records

In addition to the above, Mrs. Leela Wanti managed to enter the Chamber on a reserved seat for the Minorities. All these women remained Members of the Assembly from 1985 till May 28, 1988, when the Assembly was dismissed by the then President.

This Assembly has the main distinction of having Women Members as Ministers in the Federal Cabinet for the first time when Begum Afsar Raza Qazalbash and Begum Kulsum Saifullah were appointed as Ministers of State in Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Jonejo’s cabinet. Besides, Begum Rehana Aleem Mashahdi and Dr. Noor Jahan Panezai also served as Parliamentary Secretaries.

The Senate, which was also revived with the National Assembly, had no woman as Member.

The Fifth Phase – Third Marshal Law and the Non-Party Assembly of 1985This Assembly proved short-lived and was dismissed just after three months with the imposition of Martial Law on July 5, 1977 and the subsequent suspension of the Constitution. The political activities were resumed in 1985 when elections were held on non-party basis in 1985 to elect an Assembly, comprising of a total of 237 Members. In these elections, two women were elected on the General Seats, namely:  Women Members on General Seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan 1985- 1988

Sr. No. Name Constituency
1 Begum Abida Hussain NA-76 Jhang – IV
2 Begum Nasim Majid Akhtar NA-146 Bahawalnagar – V (Elected in by-election)

Source: Library of National Assembly of Pakistan Records

Begum Nasim Majid was also later appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for Housing & Works.

It was also at that time that the select portions of the 1973 Constitution were revived under the Revival of Constitution Order (P.O.14 of 1985), which also increased the reserved seats for women from 10 to 20. Consequently, women entered in the central legislature in a considerable number.

 Women Members on Reserved Seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan 1985- 1988

Sr. No. Name Constituency
1 Begum Afsar Raza Qazalbash Punjab
2 Begum Sarwari Sadiq Punjab
3 Begum Silvat Sher Ali Khan Punjab
4 Mrs. Khurshid Begum Punjab
5 Mrs. Dureshahwar Mazari Punjab
6 Mrs. Rafia Tariq Punjab
7 Begum Rehana Aleem Mashahdi Punjab
8 Shahzadi Mehmooda Begum Punjab
9 Begum Ishrat Ashraf Punjab
10 Dr. Attiya Inayatullah Punjab
11 Mrs. Farrukh Mukhtar Punjab
12 Mrs. Nisar Fatima Zahra Punjab
13 Mrs. Afroze Nazir Ahmad Sindh
14 Begum Salma Ahmad Sindh
15 Mrs. Rashida Pasha Khoro Sindh
16 Mrs. Qamar-un-Nisa Qamar Sindh
17 Mrs. Bilquis Nasar-um-Minallah N.W.F.P.
18 Begum Kalsoom Saifullah N.W.F.P.
19 Dr. Miss. Noor Jahan Panazai Balochistan
20 Bilqees Begum Balochistan

Source: Library of National Assembly of Pakistan Records

In addition to the above, Mrs. Leela Wanti managed to enter the Chamber on a reserved seat for the Minorities. All these women remained Members of the Assembly from 1985 till May 28, 1988, when the Assembly was dismissed by the then President.

This Assembly has the main distinction of having Women Members as Ministers in the Federal Cabinet for the first time when Begum Afsar Raza Qazalbash and Begum Kulsum Saifullah were appointed as Ministers of State in Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Jonejo’s cabinet. Besides, Begum Rehana Aleem Mashahdi and Dr. Noor Jahan Panezai also served as Parliamentary Secretaries.

The Senate, which was also revived with the National Assembly, had no woman as Member.