ISLAMABAD  -   Believing in emancipation of women, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government on Wednesday agreed to allocate a reserved seat in the Parliament for woman from the Islamabad Capital Territory.

Submitting a concise statement on the matter pertaining to allocation of woman reserved seat for ICT in the Parliament, the government stated that constitutional amendment was required for the purpose for which the government is determined, it said.

The federal government through Law Secretary Abdul Shakoor Paracha submitted a concise statement in the matter in the Supreme Court. It stated that amendment bill for reserve seat to woman from ICT is being proposed.

It added that ICT in terms of Article 1(2)(b) of Constitution is a separate entity and it does not form part of any province but residents/electorate of ICT are entitled to equal protection of law in terms of Articles 4 and 25 of Constitution.

“The present government believes in emancipation of women and will not object to giving a women seat in National Assembly and Senate from ICT to make the women at par with other federating units,” the reply stated.

However, it added that to achieve the purpose, constitutional amendment was needed to be carried out in the Parliament for which present government has a resolve that by consensus such an amendment is made to give representation to women.

The statement further stated that Islamabad High Court on April 28 had declined to entertain petition of social activist Amna Sadaf for allocation of woman reserved seat in ICT in the Parliament.

The petition stated that the population of ICT is around 2.1 million out of which 50 per cent is comprised of women but surprisingly there is no representation of women in Islamabad on reserved seats.

As per Article 51 of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, seats chart of each province, the Federal Administrative Tribal Areas (Fata) and the Federal Territory is well mentioned but surprisingly column for reserved seats of women is fell vacant. 

It is further contended that despite being located in Islamabad, the women are not provided any sort of opportunities, representation, contribution and participation by the constitution and law of the land.

“No sort of allocation, quota and reservation in any walk of life is provided to the women of the areas by the constitution and law of the land to bring them at par with the women of other parts of the country,” the petition stated. 

It next contended that the fact remains that the constitution secures fundamental rights of citizens and Pakistan is also signatory to various international conventions and treaties which are aimed at assuring the participation, representation and contribution of women. It is further argued that omissions and commissions of the respondents are illegal, unlawful, and void and against the fundamental provisions enshrined in the Constitution, therefore needs the interference of the court.

Non-allocation of reserved quota in Parliament is violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution and hence resulted in deprivation of women of ICT from representation, contribution and participation. “If seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan are not allocated, the women of the Capital Territory would stand deprived of their rights in violation to the natural principles of natural justice.”

The petitioner requested the top court to set aside the verdict of IHC and direct the respondents to allocate reserved seats for women of ICT in National assembly of Pakistan for the forthcoming elections.

 

SYED SABEEHUL HUSSNAIN