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Event Title: Senator Taj Haider, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs Presiding over a Meeting of the Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-03-10

The Election (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed unanimously by the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs; in a meeting held on Friday at Parliament House, Islamabad. Chaired by Senator Taj Haider, the meeting; was attended by Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem, Senator Kamran Murtaza, Senator Syed Waqar Mehdi and senior officers of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs along with its attached departments and agencies.
The proposed amendment entailed deletion of the words Federally Administered Tribal Areas and where mentioned in the Election Act 2017. The Committee was informed that the amendment was necessary in light of the 25th constitutional amendment and merger of FATA in Khyber Pakhtun Khawa.  The Bill was supported by both the Election Commission and the Government.  The Committee was also informed that the proposal for amendments in Election Act, 2017 is under process, and that it would be appropriate if consolidated amendments may be made in the Election Act, 2017 through Government Bill.  The Committee decided that despite the Government Bill being under process, it would be appropriate that this Bill be passed immediately. 

While taking up the matter of any proposed recommendations related to the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the year 2023-24, the Committee was informed that no PSDP project were proposed.  According to the rules of business there is no function that can be made part of the PSDP.  The Committee recommended that the Ministry must consider including projects that would entail a reference library for Parliamentarians with a research cell that would help provide support regarding House Business.  The Committee recommended that comparative study must be conducted to review such facilities in parliaments internationally so that the best version is adopted in Pakistan.

In addition to the above mentioned agenda the Committee also discussed upcoming elections and directed the Election Commission to make a presentation regarding election preparedness in the next meeting.  The Committee stressed the need to highlight bottlenecks so that it could make recommendations in order to resolve issues.  Matters related to the Local Body Elections in Sindh were also discussed at length.