ISLAMABAD          -           Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday said the Federal government has failed to ensure a functional Parliament. He urged that a session of the National Assembly must be called to discuss the national issues.

Participating in the meeting of Parliamentary leaders through video link presided over by Federal Minister Syed Fakhar Imam, the PPP Chairman said that his party was willing to work with the Speaker’s office to ensure both oversight and safety. He said that Speaker and the government must also ensure protection of life and health of the members and the staff of the Assembly.

Bilawal said that lengthy debates could be limited in the session but that there would be no compromise on voting rights for legislations. He pointed out that a meeting of the PPP’s Committee on Economy has already demanded fair distribution of the foreign relief aid received from international financial institutions and G20 countries among the provinces, to enable them to cope up with the situation.

Meanwhile, yesterday, PPP leader Taj Haider wrote  a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja on the local government elections. “We have the honor to refer to the ECP Press Release dated 22’ April 2020 dealing with the preparations for holding of Local Government Elections in the provinces. The said Press Release complains about Sindh and staated that needed documents and maps for carrying out delimitation had not been received by the ECP and the Provincial Government had not given any reply in this regard,” he wrote.

He added: “Two communications have already been sent to your Honor, the first one from President PPP Sindh who has requested ECP to kindly provide population data, maps etc; lying with them, and the other from the Government of Sindh which has pointed out that delimitation of constituencies could not be carried out on the basis of the provisional figures of population obtained in Census 2017.” Taj Haider said: “We like to draw your kind attention towards the Constitutional position in this regard. The 24th Amendment of the Constitution limits the use of provisional figures obtained in Census 2017.”

He said provided that for purposes of the next general elections to be held in 2018 and bye-elections related thereto, “the allocations shall be made on the basis provisional results of the 2017 Census which shall be published by the Federal Government.”