The government has started deliberations on Wednesday to reshape Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution that deals with eligibility and disqualification of parliamentarians, it has been learnt.
State Minister on Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman told reporters that the sub-committee on electoral reforms, headed by Zahid Hamid, in its meeting at the parliament house in Islamabad, started discussions on the Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
She said that political parties have submitted their suggestions on the issue. The state minister added that the committee was deliberating on restoring the Articles 62 and 63 into their original forms as per the Constitution of 1973, further amending the Articles or to keep them as they are.
"In its initial form, the Articles 62 and 63 of the 1973’s Constitution had not made it mandatory for a legislator to be ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’. Later, in the tenure of Ziaul Haq, the terms were made part of the Articles. So, if the Articles were reshaped to their original form, legislators could not be prosecuted for not being ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’," she said.
The committee also discussed the format of Senate elections and agreed to keep dual nationals out of the Senate. It also considered the suggestion that Senators be selected, instead of elected.
If the suggestion is approved, political parties would submit respective priority lists of senators, on the pattern of special seats, before the Election Commission of Pakistan and the commission would announce the selection of senators as per the lists, provided by political parties.
The minister further said that the committee would take Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and senate secretariat onboard in connection with the issue.
The subcommittee was formed by the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms, headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Echo of Articles 62 and 63 in SC
The applicability of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has largely been discussed in connection with the Panamagate case, being heard in the country's top court.
Petitioners in the case wanted the Supreme Court to dislodge the prime minister under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, where as the premier's lawyers argued that the Articles need scrutiny and that disqualification of the premier under these Articles is not possible.