Speaker decides to again chair meeting of parties on delimitation of constituencies

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 06 (APP):Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq will chair a meeting of leaders of political parties on Tuesday to evolve consensus on the issue of delimitation of constituencies and thrash out differences over the new census held this year.
The Speaker took the decision to hold the meeting, during the session of the National Assembly held here.
The Speaker said the meeting could help overcome the differences that emerged between the political parties over
the figures of the census.
He told that the Election Commission had set a deadline of November 10 for passage of legislation in the Parliament for
delimitation of constituencies.
The new delimitations will decrease nine National Assembly seats of the most populous Punjab province and will increase four seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and three seats of the largest province of Balochistan.
Before the present session, the Speaker held two meetings with leaders of parliamentary parties and they succeeded in evolving consensus and decided to keep the total seats of National Assembly at 272.
However, during the session Pakistan Tehreek I Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) raised objections
over the census.
At the start of the session, the Speaker put aside the “Question Hour” and allowed the members to speak on
point of orders.
The legislators said reservations of political parties should be ended for smooth passage of legislation.
MNA of Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Sherpao said the parties had agreed on the legislation on delimitations, before the present session but something happened and some parties backtracked from their stance and now were obstructing the legislation.
He appreciated the increase of seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and expressed his support for the new legislation.
He advised that the parties should resolve the issue as early as possible so that elections could be held on time.
PPP MNA Naveed Qamar his party has no objection over the constitutional amendments but the issue could be sent to Council of Common Interests (CCI) and other constitutional forums.
He said his party was glad that seats of the smaller provinces would increase, saying his party backed the legislation.
MNA of PTI Shireen Mazari said the reservations of parties should be removed. She pointed that members of
the treasury benches were present in small numbers and lacked interest in the proceedings of the house.
Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Awami National Party, expressed dismay that some parties backed out of the agreement
that they reached during the meetings with the Speaker.
He lauded that Punjab, whose seats were reduced, showed large heartedness and accepted the census figures.
MNA of Jamaat e Islami, Sahibzada Tariqullah said the smaller provinces had their apprehensions over the delay in the legislation and said all steps should be taken to ensure that elections are held on time.
MNA Akram Durrani, Jamiat Ulema Islam (F) also concurred that party leaders should again held a meeting to arrive at a consensus.
He said any delay in delimitation of constituencies would raise concerns about the democratic process in the country.
Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Chaudhry Barjees Tahir said timely delimitation would lead to elections on time that will strengthen democracy in the country.
He said nine seats of Punjab were decreased but still nobody from the province raised any hue and cry and supported the new bills.
Only progress of the democratic system would make the country strong and prosperous, he added.
Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah said PPP wanted election on time and were not supportive of early polls.