Bill for increase in Balochistan’s NA, PA seats due in Senate soon

Updated August 22, 2019

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Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani spoke to chairmen of different committees and officials of the Balochistan Assembly who called on him at the Parliament House  on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV/File
Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani spoke to chairmen of different committees and officials of the Balochistan Assembly who called on him at the Parliament House on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: A bill proposing to increase the number of national and provincial assembly seats for Balochistan will be submitted in the Senate soon.

This was said by Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani while talking to chairmen of different committees and officials of the Balochistan Assembly who called on him at the Parliament House here on Wednesday.

Members of the delegation which called on him are attending a capacity-building event tiled “Essentials of Effective Committee Perfor­mance for chairs/members of the provincial assembly of Balochistan” at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS). The event was organised with the assistance of the UNDP.

Mr Sanjrani said the bill to be introduced in the upcoming session of the Senate proposed increase in the number of Balochistan Assembly seats from 65 to 80 and Balochistan’s share in the National Assembly seats from 20 to 30. He said that consultation with all political parties over the issue was underway.

It is, however, yet to be seen how political parties and provinces react to the proposal as the number of seats of the provinces in the National Assembly is determined in accordance with figures of the census population.

Mr Sanjrani said that there was a need for strong coordination among the provincial assemblies, the Natio­nal Assembly and the Senate to promote democratic traditions in the country.

He said the Senate would continue to play its role for this coordination among the federating units.

He said that the committee system in the Senate was very active and “we are trying to share our experience with provincial assemblies for effective law-making at provincial level”.

He said the PIPS would also organise courses for the bureaucracy and secretaries of the provincial assembly’s committees in addition to members of provincial assemblies.

He said the institute would also organise special training programme for a joint group of members of all provincial assemblies in Gwadar with the help of UNDP.

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

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

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

Both leaders discussed the prevailing situation in India-held Kashmir and the developments emerging due to change in the status of the valley by the Indian government’s decision.

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

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

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

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2019