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ISLAMABAD: With half of the total strength of Senate retiring Thursday (Mar 11), the Upper House of the Parliament continued its final session on Wednesday, being concluded today, to bid farewell to 49 (out of 52) Senators who would complete their six-year term.

At the Senate sitting presided over by Muhammad Javed Abbasi from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem thanked the senators for showing parliamentary unity on the issues of national security.

“Regardless of political divide, the members of this august House always came together to show national unity whenever it was needed,” he said.

“We may represent different political parties and we may be locked into serious political differences over certain issues but when it comes to Pakistan, we are one and this House has proved it on so many occasions,” he said.

Other senators including Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Aurangzeb Khan, Nouman Wazir Khattak, Mir Kabir Shahi, Usman Kakar, Faisal Javed Khan, Khushbakht Shujaat, Fida Muhammad, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Lieutenant General (r) Abdul Qayyum and Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi also shared their views on the occasion.

Originally, 52 senators were scheduled to retire on March 11. Out of them, 49 senators would complete their term. Two senators - Sitara Ayaz and Ashok Kumar tendered resignations and Mushahid Ullah Khan passed away last month.

Senate elections were scheduled on 48 seats on March 3. Out of these seats, senators on all the 11 Punjab seats were elected unopposed and elections on remaining 37 seats were held.

Following Fata’s merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, four erstwhile Fata (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) seats stood abolished in recently held Senate elections following the retirement of the four senators while as many seats would be abolished in Senate elections in 2024 following the retirement of the remaining four senators elected on erstwhile Fata seats.

Senate polls were held on 12 seats each of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, 11 seats of Sindh and two seats of Islamabad.

In each province, the elections were held on seven General seats, two Women seats and two Technocrats/Ulema seats. In KP and Balochistan, elections were held on one seat each for non-Muslims. Elections on the remaining two Non-Muslims seats; one each of Punjab and Sindh, would be held in 2024.

In 104-seat outgoing Senate, which currently has 100 members, each province has 23 seats—14 general seats, four Women seats, four Technocrats/Ulema seats and one Non-Muslim seat. Erstwhile Fata has eight General seats and Islamabad has four seats—two General and two Women.

Half of the Senate membership retires every three years after completing its term. After the abolition of eight erstwhile FATA seats, the number of Senate seats would be reduced to 96 with 48 senators retiring every three years. The upcoming Senate would comprise of 100 seats with the abolition of four erstwhile FATA seats.

Senators including Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla, Leader of the Opposition Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Parliamentary Leader Sherry Rehman, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq as well as Rehman Malik, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Atta Ur Rehman, Chaudhry Tanvir, Farooq Naek, Khushbakht Shujaat, Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Muhammad Ali Saif, Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Muhammad Usman Kakar, Pervaiz Rasheed and Sajid Mir among others would retire from Senate on March 11.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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