Bills to increase minority seats tabled, Amir Wasim
ISLAMABAD: Two similar constitution amendment bills seeking increase in minorities’ representation in the national and provincial legislatures and a bill suggesting severe punishment to the police officers for registering a false case were tabled in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Another bill making it binding upon the federal government to include translation of holy Quran, Hifz and Tajweed-ul-Quran as compulsory subjects in universities, schools and colleges was moved by members of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI).
All the bills were referred by the speaker to the concerned standing committee when the government did not oppose them on the private member’s day.
The first constitution amendment bill seeking increase in the reserved seats for non-Muslims in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies was moved by the minority members belonging to four main political parties — the PPP, PML-N, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
The MQM members later tabled another similar bill, with no change in the wordings. Minority MQM member Sanjay Parwani has signatures on both the bills.
Through the bills, the members have suggested amendments to Articles 51 and 106 of the Constitution regarding allocation of seats in the country’s legislatures. If the bills are approved for which a two-thirds majority is needed, the reserved seats for the non-Muslims in the National Assembly would increase from 10 to 15 and the total number of the National Assembly members would increase from 342 to 347.