Once again, the delimitation process has been delayed. For two consecutive days, Thursday and Friday, the government failed to ensure the numerical strength of members in the NA to discuss the amendments in the delimitations of the constituencies for the upcoming elections. According to laws and proceedings, any bill in the NA will be adopted with the vote of 288 lawmakers in favour. However, for the proceedings of the amendment bill only 50 law makers deemed it necessary to grace the NA with their presence.

This happened on the same day when Chairman of the Senate, Raza Rabbani, declared that the parliament must show the way to other institutions. Now this statement implies that members of the parliament must be vigilant and alert to set a precedent which encourages other institutions to perform their best. However, the fact that the government could not ensure full presence only shows the apathy and the ineptitude of the parliamentarians. And the government’s lack of interest to change that, despite doling out statements otherwise.

A special committee was formed back in October 2014 to only deal with the laws pertaining to electoral reforms. However the committee has not been meeting regularly, to the point that the ECP had to announce to going ahead with the same delimitation of the constituencies because of lack of data in June. The ECP even offered the government help in gathering all the required stakeholders but the government did not seem interested in that either.

The entire point of carrying out the strenuous activity of census was to push for amendments in the delimitation of constituencies. The entire effort will be fruitless if the government does not actively involve itself in the process and elections are carried out on existing delimitations. The process of delimitation requires time, as pointed out by ECP earlier as well. It takes a minimum of seven months to complete the entire process but if the relevant stakeholders are not willing to sit together than the ECP cannot be blamed for the lack of action in this regard.

At this point, one can only ask three pertinent questions. Where are the PML-N’s whips and why are they not pushing this agenda forward? Where are the party leaders who have boasted of carrying out the census and can they not witness the effort going to waste? Has the party now only limited itself to dealing with matters concerning former PM Nawaz Sharif and the rest of the country can deal with its own problems?