Legislation for substitution of 2 men to two women in ECP composition approved

Ijaz Kakakhel

A legislative body of Upper House of Parliament on Wednesday approved that the Constitution be amended so as to change the composition of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and substitute two men seats for two women seats. Senate Standing Committee on Law & Justice met under the Chairmanship of Senator & Barrister Syed Ali Zafar considered many crucial constitutional amendments in its meeting today in Parliament House

At the outset, Chairman of the Committee, Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, stated that he believes in the phrase that half the universe is held up by women and there should be therefore equal representation of women ultimately in all sectors of life and such a policy should be immediately implemented in at least those institutions where there is sufficient expertise of women.

The original proposal was to increase the strength of existing ECP from four to eight with equal representation of men and women. It was decided by majority that the total number of members shall remain four, however, two of them would be women and that each Province would nominate alternatively a man and a woman member so that at all times there would be equal representation.

In another landmark decision for women, it was again by majority decided by the Committee that there should be one reserve seat from Islamabad as well. Barrister Zafar pointed out that in the original Constitution whereas reserve seats of women were given to all the Provinces but no reserve seat for women was given to Islamabad and this was the need of the hour. Barrister Zafar thanked the honorable Senators who had moved the bill.

Keeping in view the constant struggle between the Federation and the Provinces, a bill had been moved by Senator Farooq H. Naek for increasing the scope of the subjects which fall within the Concurrent List. Chairman, Barrister Zafar explained that there were certain laws in which the Federal Parliament and Provincial Assemblies could pass the laws which was known as the Concurrent List and included subjects like criminal law and law of evidence.

However, he said that it was necessary to harmonize the laws in various sectors like Family Law, Arbitration, Contract Act, Limitation.