Following the submission of a constitutional amendment bill seeking the creation of Bahawalpur and south Punjab provinces, the PML-N on Tuesday submitted another bill to the National Assembly Secretariat for the creation of Hazara province.
The bill was moved by party member Malik Sajjad Awan and bears his signature along with those of five other members namely Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Rana Sanaullah, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, and Malik Afreen Khan.
PML-N has stated in the bill that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly had passed a resolution on March 25, 2014, for the creation of a Hazara province.
“The Resolution was supported by members from political parties on both sides of the House,” the bill notes.
The proposal, therefore, seeks to meet the “very genuine demand” of people from the Hazara division by creating a new province comprising the existing administrative division of Hazara.
Amendment in Article 51 – NA
The bill seeks an amendment in Article 51 of the Constitution, which pertains to the composition of the National Assembly, and proposes that the table therein include Hazara province’s name with 11 general seats and three reserved seats for women allotted for a total of 14 seats.
It also suggests that clause 3-A of Article 51 be replaced with: “Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (3) or any other law for the time being in force, the members women elected on reserved seats from the KPK [and] Punjab to the National Assembly shall continue till dissolution of the [assembly] and thereafter this clause shall stand omitted.”
Amendment in Article 59 – Senate
The bill further seeks amendment in Article 59, which details the structure of the Senate. It suggests that the total number of members be revised to 142 from the previous 96.
It states: “Members elected from the province of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa prior to the creation of the new provinces of Hazara, Bahawalpur and Janubi Punjab shall complete their respective terms of office and thereafter this clause shall be omitted.”
Amendment in Article 106 – provincial assembly
An amendment in Article 106 of the Constitution has also been proposed which outlines the composition of the provincial assemblies.
With the creation of Hazara province, it is suggested that the province be allocated 29 general seats, six reserved seats for women and one minority seat, for a total of 36 seats in the provincial assembly.
The bill says that members from the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elected in the 2018 general elections on seats reserved for women and minorities shall continue their terms till the dissolution of the provincial assemblies and thereafter this clause shall stand omitted.