Afghanistan, Pakistan & Bangladesh HRDI News

Minorities seek more representation

ISLAMABAD: During the fag end of the PPP government a bill was tabled to increase the number of seats for minority communities in the National Assembly from 10 to 14 on proportionate basis.
The mover of the bill was Akram Gill and the reason behind increasing the reserved seats was that the existing seats were not in proportion with the total number of seats in the House.
The bill demanded that seats for minority communities should be raised to 14, corresponding with the number of seats in the House on proportionate basis.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Minority Wing President Sajid Ishaq said it was for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to fulfil his promise he had made with the minorities during his election campaign and bring up the bill in the National Assembly.
“With a majority in the House and the support being extended by like-minded and opposition parties on matters of national importance, it should be easy for Sharif to fulfil this promise and tuck a feather in the cap of the PML-N government.”
The bill was tabled in October 2012 and voting was scheduled for February 2013. There was consensus and it seemed at that time that the bill would have a smooth passage in both Houses because it was neither opposed nor any objections were raised against it.
“It was disappointing and frustrating for the minority communities’ representatives in the House because the bill could not be taken up for voting because of lack of quorum every time the House was in session,” Ishaq said, adding that the National Assembly completed its tenure, leaving the bill pending. He said the representatives of minority communities were looking at the PML-N government to give them due share in the government. Internews

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