Passage of delimitation bill delayed further
Passage of the delimitation bill was delayed again in the Senate as the government, which has apparently failed to garner support from the opposition parties, refrained from presenting the bill before the upper house on Wednesday, DawnNews reported. The 24th constitutional amendment will allow the conduct of delimitation of constituencies on the basis of provisional census results and has already been passed by the National Assembly earlier this month.The Senate had been unable to pass the bill on November 17 as several legislators had remained absent from the session on that day. Only 58 of the 104 senators had attended the session. The bill was placed on the Senate’s agenda again on No- vember 20. However, the absence of lawmakers had once again delayed the passage of the bill. The leader of the house, Raja Zafarul Haq, had sought deferment for two days and the bill was placed on Senate’s agenda for today. However, today the voting on the bill was deferred until Friday. Earlier, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani held a meeting with Zafarul Haq and Opposition leader in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan. Expressing his concern, Rabbani said that elections must be held on time and requested both the leaders to play their role in making it possible. The bill is meant to pave the way for the timely conduct of the 2018 general elections, he said. Ahsan said, “Only a few days have gone by, not months,” adding that soon the bill will be passed. Talking to the media following his meeting with the chairman, Ahsan said that negotiations for the approval of the bill are still ongoing. “A final decision is yet to be reached on the matter,” he added. “The PPP should be asked why it has opposed the bill,” Senator Haq, also speaking to the media, said. “Negotiations with the PPP are ongoing,” he said, adding that he was not aware what conditions the party has set. During the session, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Senator Hafiz Hamdullah protested against not being given the opportunity to speak and tore a copy of the agenda before walking out of the Senate.