ISLAMABAD - Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani Wednesday said that a constitutional amendment bill to increase the number of seats of National Assembly and provincial assembly for Balochistan will be introduced in the upcoming Senate session.

“Consultation process is underway with all the parties representing the parliament in this regard,” he said, adding that there was a proposal to increase the existing number of National Assembly seats of Balochistan from 20 to 30 and that of its provincial assembly seats from 65 to 80.

At present, Balochistan has 16 general seats and four reserved seats for women in the National Assembly and its provincial assembly has total 65 seats including 51 general seats, 11 women seats and three seats have been reserved for minorities.

The chairman Senate expressed these views while talking to chairpersons of the committees and the officials of Balochistan Assembly who called on him here at Parliament House.

The members of delegation meeting the chairman are attending a capacity building event tiled “Essentials of Effective Committee Performance for the Chairs /Members of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan” at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) organized with the assistance of UNDP.

He said that there was a need for strong linkages and coordination among the provincial assemblies, National Assembly and the Senate for promoting democratic and parliamentary traditions in the country.  He said that the upper house of the parliament would continue to play its effective role for this coordination among the federating units. 

Sanjrani further said that the committee system in the Senate was very proactive and they were trying to share their experience with the provincial assemblies for effective law making at provincial level. 

He said that the PIPS would also organize courses for the b ureaucracy and secretaries of the provincial assembly’s committees in addition to the members of the provincial assemblies. 

He remarked that the institute would also organize special training programme for a joint group of the members of all provincial assemblies in Gwadar with the assistance of UNDP. 

He said that an amendment was also under consideration for making a parliamentary course mandatory for all the officers of the federal and provincial governments as well as other public sector organizations to create awareness about the working of the parliament and implementation of the relevant laws.

Earlier, Additional Secretary Senate Hafeezullah Shaikh briefed the delegation about the working of the committee system in the upper house. The delegation headed by Syed Ahsan Shah included MPAs Ahmad Nawaz Baloch, Qadir Ali Nayel, and Akbar Mengal; Secretary Provincial Assembly of Balochistan Safdar Hussain; Special Secretary Tahir Shah Kakar; Executive Director PIPS Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka; UNDP representatives and officials of the Balochistan Assembly.

Separately, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser called on the Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani here at the Parliament House on Wednesday. 

Both the leaders discussed at length the prevailing situation in Indian Held Kashmir and the development emerging due to change in its special status by the Indian government. 

The meeting decided that joint parliamentary delegations would be sent to different countries of the world to highlight the Kashmir issue and raise awareness about the atrocities being committed by the Indian occupied forces in the IHK. 

The joint delegations would comprise of the members of both houses of parliament and representatives of Kashmiris and will hold meetings with the international parliamentarians, parliamentary bodies and human right organizations across the world.

The Foreign Office and embassies of Pakistan abroad would schedule the meetings with these groups and plan the other activities to be participated by the joint parliamentary delegations for highlighting the cause of Kashmir.