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Event Title: Senator Syed Ali Zafar, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice presiding over a Meeting of the Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2024-01-31

The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice convened today at Parliament House, chaired by Senator Ali Zafar.

The committee commenced by extending warm congratulations to Senator Sania Nishtar for her appointment as the CEO of GAVI. Additionally, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayyed was acknowledged and congratulated on his election as the Vice President of IPU's Human Rights Body.

During the meeting, extensive discussions were held regarding the Constitution Amendment Bill 2024 (Amendment of Article 51) introduced by Senators Kauda Babar, Manzoor Ahmed Kakar, Naseebullah Bazai, Sana Jamali, and Danesh Kumar in the Senate sitting on January 1st, 2024. Senator Danesh Kumar emphasized that the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan designates ten reserved seats for non-Muslims in the National Assembly, with the entire country as the constituency. This unrestricted geographical allocation allows political parties to nominate candidates freely, resulting in disproportionate representation favoring populous provinces. The proposed amendment seeks to rectify this by ensuring a minimum of one seat is allocated to each province, addressing the existing disparity.

Following thorough discussions, committee members unanimously supported the amendment, deeming it fair and equitable. In response to legal concerns raised by Senator Kamran Murtaza on the matter the Committee Chair directed the Law Ministry and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to findout a way forward and also provide details of previous efforts to amend Article 51 of the Constitution.

The Committee meeting was attended by Senators Kamran Murtaza, Farooq Hamid Naek, Danesh Kumar, Walid Iqbal, and the Secretary of the Ministry of Law.