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Pakistan

Speaker summons National Assembly session for voting on delimitation bill

Islamabad (Monitoring Desk): Speaker National Assembly has summoned the assembly session for voting over new delimitation bill on November 16.

The agreement was reached in a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Sources said lawmakers from the government and it allies have been instructed to ensure their presence in the voting.

The government has also accepted reservations and demands by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) regarding the interim census.

Sindh government’s demand to allow provinces to check and verify census data has also been accepted.

The CCI on Monday approved delimitation of new constituencies on the basis of provisional results of Population Census 2017, paving a way for timely conduct of next general elections.

The 33rd meeting of the CCI was attended by chief ministers of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, who resolved to hold elections on time.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the meeting, with federal ministers for inter-provincial coordination, industries and production, and finance also in presence.

The meeting approved usage of provisional census results for delimitation process.

Briefing the media, PM’s special aide Musaddiq Mailk said the political leadership resolved a major constitutional crisis through wisdom. “The election commission will immediately start working on delimitation of new constituencies following a constitutional amendment,” he said.

According to the new delimitation, Punjab’s seat share will decrease by nine, while Islamabad will get one more seat, KPK will get five and Balochistan will be given three more, Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq told media on November 1.

Malik said suspicions regarding Karachi’s population were also addressed at the meeting.

He said for examining the census process, the meeting approved audit of 1 per cent selected blocks by an independent body.

The formula to check and verify census record applies to all provinces.

The council, however, suggested against increasing seats in the representative assemblies