Ahmed Shah Panel Wins Arts Council of Pakistan Elections 2015
After weeks of unsavoury exchanges between the two competing groups led by Ahmed Shah and Khalil Ahmed Nainitalwala accusing each other of malpractices and misconduct, the annual elections to the Arts Council Karachi’s office-bearer and governing body member seats were held on Sunday, the results of which appeared in the early hours of Monday morning.
According to results, the Ahmed Shah-Ejaz Farooqui panel emerged victorious by winning a majority of seats, except two governing body positions.
The panel has been winning the elections for the past few years.
The names of the winning office-bearers are as follows:
Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui (president), Prof Sahar Ansari (vice president), Ahmed Shah (secretary), Huma Mir (joint secretary) and Shehnaz Siddiqui (treasurer).
If the barrage of text messages received by council members from the two contesting parties is anything to go by, the campaigns prior to polling day had taken quite an ugly turn, as the incumbent group was accused by the challenging party (Shehr-i-Quaid Ittehad) of financial bungling and other mismanagement such as unfair membership awarded to scores of people. The Ahmed Shah panel denied the allegations, calling them false.
Talking to Dawn, Prof Ansari said: “We tried to clear the air by listening to them [Shehr-i-Quaid Ittehad]. We had announced an excellence award for art legends to be held on Dec 18, which they said was a ploy to boost our election campaign. We didn’t do that and postponed it. Then they objected to memberships given to many people, so we had a naazir overseeing the genuineness of the voters during elections. What more could we do?”
Zeba Bakhtiar, who is one of the two Shehr-i-Quaid panel candidates who won a governing body seat, said: “I was told that a lot of bungling had taken place and I tended to believe it. If you are given funds and you are not delivering, that leaves a big question mark. As for the hostility between the two parties, one fight sparked off right in front of me. It was about a (moral) scandal, and I cannot name the person, which is apparently true and shocking. My only interest in getting into the fray is to bring some sort of improvement to the artist community. I don’t have animosity with anyone and I have no right to judge. I only want to provide for the artists.”
Rizwan Siddiqui is the other Shehr-i-Quaid member who won a governing body seat.
The governing body successful candidates from the Ahmed Shah group are Talat Hussain, Hasina Moin, Qudsia Akbar, Dr Qaiser Sajjad, Ather Waqar Azeem, Kashif Grami, Mohammad Iqbal Latif, Munawwar Saeed, Saadat Ali Jafri and Suhail Ahmed.