ISLAMABAD -  The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government may summon the National Assembly session next week after addressing reservations of Sindh province regarding delimitation of constituencies to pass a constitutional amendment.

The ruling party members in the Council Common Interests (CCI) will make all-out efforts to persuade the discontented representative of Sindh about delimitation of constituencies in the country including in the Sindh province. The CCI meeting has been called for Monday (tomorrow).

The government will address the reservations of Sindh to smoothly pass the constitutional amendment from both houses of Parliament (Senate and National Assembly) without the stress of the numerical strength, background discussions with ruling party members left this impression.

The government can manage to pass the constitutional amendment from the National Assembly with the numerical strength but it can face a difficulty in the Senate with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) having the majority. The PPP had opposed the constitutional bill in the Lower House after the Sindh chief minister raised objections.

Sources said that the government has also decided to ensure the presence of all treasury lawmakers in the Parliament for voting on the bill to avoid embarrassment due to the quorum issue.

A majority of government MNAs in last National Assembly session (48th NA session) did not show up for consecutive three days.

The sources said that some government members will also secretly keep an eye on missing/absent members during the expected important legislation on the constitutional amendment.

The deadlock between the government and the opposition persisted in the last National Assembly session as the government thrice failed to get the constitutional amendment passed due to the numerical strength. The constitutional amendment, as per rules and procedures, requires 228 votes to get passed from the Lower House of Parliament.

The PPP, the main opposition party, has compelled the government to deliberate the matter in CCI to remove reservations of the Sindh province. Chief ministers of all four provinces have been informed about the agenda of the upcoming CCI meeting, the sources said. Federal ministers for finance, law, inter-provincial coordination and others will also participate in the CCI meeting on a special invitation.

According to the proposed reallocation after the delimitation, seats of Balochistan will increase to three (2 general seats, 1 woman seat), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (4+1) and the federal capital (1) while seats of Punjab will decrease and those of Sindh will remain the same. According to the bill, the total NA seats will remain 272, but there will be a change in the allocation of NA seats for the provinces.

 

 

JAVAID-UR-RAHMAN