ISLAMABAD: A bill seeking to increase in the number of seats for Balochistan in the National Assembly from 20 to 37 and from 65 to 80 in the provincial assembly was introduced in the Senate on Monday.
The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Amendment of Articles 51 and 106) – was endorsed by at least 18 senators hailing from Balochistan. The senators included Sajjad Hussain Turi, Ahmed Khan, Naseebullah Bazai, Sana Jamali, Manzoor Ahmed, Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, Dr Ashok Kumar, Muhammad Akram, Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Agha Shahzaib Durrani, Kalsoom Perveen, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, Gul Bashra and Abida Muhammad Azeem.
The bill was formally moved in the House by Senator Naseeb Ullah Bazai and was supported by the leader of the opposition in the Senate, Raja Zafur-ul-Haq. Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi said that despite being the largest province of the country, Balochistan remained underrepresented in both the national and provincial legislatures.
He said that it has become difficult for the contesting candidates to cover the entire distance of a single constituency during elections.
The bill also proposed to increase the number of reserved seats for Balochistan’s women from four to seven in the national assembly and from 11 to 13 in the provincial assembly.