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Polls should be held as per schedule: Shah Mehmood Quershi

08 November, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Leaders of parliamentary parties in National Assembly during a meeting on Tuesday failed to agree on a bill for delimitation of constituencies but agreed that upcoming general elections must be held on time.

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq chaired the consultative meeting at the Parliament House to overcome differences on the proposed bill. The parliamentary leaders discussed different suggestions to reach an understanding on the bill for new delimitation of constituencies after the census held this year after a gap of almost two decades.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid briefed leaders of parliamentary parties over the issues concerning the delimitation of constituencies.

Talking to media after the meeting, the parliamentary leaders of major parties expressed the desire that delay in elections should be avoided. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that polls should be held as per schedule. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had reservations over the bill while Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) had objected over the census figures for the city of Karachi.

Opposition leader Khurshid Shah said they had reservations over figures about population of Sindh in the latest census as it had been shown three to four percent less.

Talking over the delimitation bill, Shah said that it should have been sent to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) first. He claimed that government didn’t not trust their own members.

Shah expressed resentment over postponing the National Assembly session. He said that it was decided earlier that the NA session would continue till next Tuesday. “Today the electoral reforms bill was to be presented in the House but the session was postponed for an indefinite period without taking the House into confidence. Such thing never happened in the past. This is a joke with the parliament,” he said. Speaker Ayaz Sadiq will again chair a meeting on Wednesday (today) in an effort to arrive at consensus on the issue of delimitation of constituencies.

On Monday, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had set a deadline of November 10 for passage of legislation in the parliament for delimitation of constituencies and warned that if the lawmakers failed to pass the amendment soon, the ECP will have to seek the Supreme Court’s (SC) assistance in this regard.

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