Senate likely to approve Protection of Pakistan Bill


ISLAMABAD: The government is all set to take the electoral reforms issue to parliament when both its houses meet this week to adopt resolutions for a constitutional package to remove the shortcomings in the electoral process of the country. The unexpected sessions of the two houses are significant in the present scenario when political temperature has risen after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) triggered a massive campaign against the alleged rigging in the last general elections and its plans to stage a million-man long march after Ramzan if the government does not accept its demands. Some other crucial issues are also on the agenda of parliament, particularly the Protection of Pakistan Bill, which would be stamped by the two houses to convert into an act of parliament.
However, electoral reforms will be the main issue when the houses of parliament meet, parliamentary sources believed. The session of the Upper House of Parliament will meet today (Monday) in which the government will move a motion to authorise the Senate chairman to nominate members of the House on a parliamentary committee for electoral reforms. The process for electoral reforms was initiated few weeks back when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wrote a letter to the National Assembly speaker for constitution of a parliamentary committee on electoral reforms.
The National Assembly has already passed a resolution for the formation of the committee, and the speaker has sought nominations for its members from the parliamentary parties in the Lower House on this committee. According to parliamentary sources, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has agreed to nominate its members on this committee, and surprisingly Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has also showed its readiness to be part of this committee despite its road protests against alleged rigging in the last general polls.
According to PML-N parliamentary sources the government wanted to play down the issue of rigging through the electoral reforms initiative, and it has so far been successful in convincing most of the political parties. Interestingly, “champion of electoral reforms” Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek has no representation in either House of parliament. 

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