Deadlock on delimitation of constituencies


Speaker to hold another round of talks today
Zahid Chaudhary


The parliamentarian leaders in the National Assembly will hold another round of talks with Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in the chair at the parliament house here on Tuesday to end deadlock on the constitutional amendment for delimitation of constituencies.
During session of the National Assembly on Monday, the speaker said he also asked the Law Minister Zahid Hamid to sit with the PTI and PPP in order to get their recommendations on the amendment. The constitutional amendment was presented before the house on Thursday but the PPP, PTI and MQM raised objections to its passage. The PPP was of the view that before its passage, the amendment be presented before the council of common interests for approval while the MQM raised objections to the results of recently conducted census.
At the outset of the proceedings of the lower house on Monday Leaders of Qaumi Watan Party, Awami National Party and Jamaat -e-Islami pressed for the passage of constitution amendment for delimitation of constituencies saying this is vital to ensure timely election in the country.
Aftab Sherpao of Qaumi Watan Party said that the delay in the passage of the amendment has created uncertainty in the country. He said it has also not sent a positive message to the smaller provinces as the amendment envisages increased in the seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour of ANP said we appreciate Punjab province for ceding nine seats in favour of the smaller provinces. He said that speaker should again sit with the Parliamentary leaders to remove reservations of opposition parties on the constitutional amendment. Sahibzada Tariqullah of Jamaat Islami also echoed the words of the ANP leader.
Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan People Party said that we are not against the increase in seats proposed in the constitutional amendments for the smaller provinces but the house should move according to the constitution. He demanded that the constitutional amendment should first be approved by the council of common interests.
The Chair said that he held two meetings with parliamentary leaders to formulate the constitutional amendment for delimitation of constituencies. He said in the last meeting the constitutional amendment was reviewed very minutely. However, some parties have now raised their reservations in the lower house. He said that he will again meet Parliamentary Leader today to address the issue. Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Barjees Tahir said election should be held on time as these are vital to strengthen the democracy.
Meanwhile talking to the media persons Federal Ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Zahid Hamid and Abdul Qadir Baloch said that the passage of constitutional amendment for delimitation of constituencies is imperative for timely elections in the country.
They urged all political parties to cooperate with the government for timely delimitation. Ruling out possibility of early elections, he said general elections and senate polls will be held according to the schedule.
Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said that PMLN want next general elections in time. Zahid Hamid said that all parliamentary leaders were agreed to the proposed constitutional amendment. Abdul Qadir Baloch said the proposal to hold next general elections according to the new census will increase three seats of Balochistan, five of KPK, and one additional seat to the federal capital in the National Assembly.

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