ISLAMABAD - Despite abysmal performance and lethargic participation in the National Assembly proceedings in the last five years, a number of politicians from the three major parties — the PML-N, the PPP and the PTI — are in the race for the July 25 general election, and many of them may return to the Parliament only to enjoy perks and privileges.

The award of party tickets, these days, has become a main topic among the political parties as a large number of inactive lawmakers of the previous Parliament once again got tickets to contest the general election despite their indifferent and abysmal performance in terms of parliamentary business and a large number of them showed up in the House once in a blue moon.

A large number of party tickets holders, who had shown disinterest in the previous legislative business on issues related to new constituencies and other matters, are once again in the race to contest in elections.

Although the legislators' participation in parliamentary affairs, especially in the National Assembly, declined fast since the revival of democracy in 2008, they were not shy of only occupying the seats in the Parliament. More than half of MNAs in the 342-member house showed least interest in any legislation in the previous years.

Around 146 MNAs including parliamentary leaders of almost all political parties never posed any question during the compulsory ‘question-hour’ during the last five years (2013-2018), according to a breakup compiled by the independent entity, FAFEN.

“The question-hour is the first hour of a sitting session of parliament devoted to questions that members of Parliament raise about any aspect of the administrative activity. The concerned minister/state minister are obliged to answer to the Parliament, either orally or in writing, depending on the type of question raised,” according to the rules and procedure of National Assembly. As many as 196 lawmakers used their right to ask questions from the government (during question-hour) in the last five years.

The breakup of the political parties revealed that 28 percent lawmakers belonging to the PML-N, 22 to the PPP, 16 percent to the PTI, 16 percent to the MQM and other lawmakers from smaller parties took part in the question hour. In last five years, a total of 2295 questions were posed by 196 MNAs till the last day of 14th National Assembly.

Many of the MNAs, according to the available figures, who remained indifferent to their prime responsibility, once again pushed party leaders to get them tickets.

Former MNAs including Malik Sultan Mehmood, Sardar Muhammad Amjad Farooq Khan Khosa, Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju, Syed Muhammad Saqlain Bukhari, Ghulam Rabbani Khar, Chaudhary Ghias Ahmed Mela, Chaudhary Iftikhar Nazir, Sahibzada Muhammad Nazir Sultan and many others never posed any question in the Parliament but are set to contest the polls.

Political gurus believe that these candidates might clinch a victory for their respective parties but their triumph will make no difference this time around once they are in the Parliament.

“The lack of quorum in the 14th National Assembly was the main issue, as the house was suspended for a record time due to the absence of the parliamentarian,” they said adding that now again these absent members were willing to take part in the polls.