Minoritiesâ€™ seat allocation system undemocratic: Afzal Haider
05 Mar 2008
Islamabad: March 5, 2008. Caretaker Law Minister Syed Afzal Haider has conceded that the system of allocation of 'minorities' seats in parliament is 'undemocratic', and advised the Pakistan Human party (PHRP) to approach National Assembly (NA) members â€“elect to amend the constitution in this regard.
According to Article 51 (4e) of the constitution, members to the seats reserved for non-Muslim shall be elected in accordance with law through proportional representation system of political parties' lists of candidates on the basis of total number of general seats won by each political party in the National Assembly (NA).
To a PHRP letter submitted to the law ministry seeking changes in the 'discriminatory' system of allocation of seats reserved for non-Muslim, the ministry replied that there was a need to amend the constitution to this end.
The PHRA called the local government system and other laws that provided additional rights to parliamentarians to elect woman and non-Muslim in the prescribed reserved seats as 'discriminatory'.
The PHRP contended that the constitution's Article 51 (4e) did not appear to be a fair proposition as non-Muslim were also Pakistani citizens.
The Law minister stated that a special committee should be set up for this purpose, which should meet non-Muslim, record their views and submit a report to parliament for due consideration and necessary amendments to the constitution. He further said genuine efforts should be made to bring minorities into the national mainstream.