ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government is all set to table the 23rd Constitutional Amendment in the National Assembly today (Monday) to seek enhancement in the minorities seats in the Lower House of the Parliament from 10 to 14.
Sources in the National Assembly Secretariat informed that the draft bill of 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill was included in the agenda of the National Assembly for Monday and it would most likely be tabled before the House and would likely be adopted with voice vote as no political party in the Parliament is averse to it.Federal Cabinet on Wednesday last had already approved the increase in the minorities’ seats in the National Assembly and all the provincial assemblies and now the same would be tabled before the National Assembly for legislation.
The Federal Cabinet has given the approval of enhancement of existing strength of the minorities seats in the National Assembly from 10 to 14 while it had suggested an increase of one seat each in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan assemblies which would bring the strength of the minorities in these assemblies from existing three to four each. While in Punjab the existing strength of eight would be enhanced to 10 while it would be 12 in Sindh Assembly where the existing strength of minorities’ members is nine.It is pertinent to mention here that PPP-led coalition government had already given representation to the minorities in the Upper House of the Parliament and for the first time in the country’s history minorities are given representation in the Senate of Pakistan and four seats were allocated for them.
The sources said that government would not be facing any trouble in getting the bill passed from both the houses of the Parliament, as there would be no opposition to the proposed increase in the seats of minorities in the top legislative forum of the country.However, on ‘controversial’ pieces of legislation like dual nationality bill, it would be quite difficult for the ruling coalition to get it through from the Parliament, particularly the Lower House where the ruling coalition is short of two-third majority. – Nation