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LAHORE: In a major blow to ruling alliance in Punjab, provincial assembly Speaker on Friday suspended reserved seats for women and minorities in accordance with the Supreme Court’s (SC’s) May 6 verdict.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan read the decision in the House, citing the apex court’s ruling, and ordered the de-seated members to vacate their seats immediately.

The Speaker upheld the point of order tabled by opposition member Rana Aftab on certain reserved seats, leading to the de-seating of the Punjab ruling alliance members.

The Supreme Court had suspended the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) verdict denying the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) — the new home for PTI lawmakers-elect — reserved seats for women and minorities.

A three-member bench — headed by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and including Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah — took up an SIC appeal against the PHC order, denying seats for women and minorities.

PTI-backed independent candidates had earlier joined the SIC after they won the Feb 8 elections as their party had been deprived of its electoral symbol ‘bat’.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had ruled that the SIC was not entitled to claim quota for reserved seats “due to having non curable legal defects and violation of a mandatory provision of submission of party list for reserved seats”.

The commission had also decided to distribute the seats among other parliamentary parties, with the PML-N and the PPP becoming major beneficiaries with 16 and five additional seats while the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl was given four.

Later the same month, while ruling on an SIC plea, the PHC had dismissed an SIC plea challenging the ECP decision and denied it reserved seats.

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KU May 11, 2024 12:54pm
This is meaningless news. The real news is the despicable conditions of people of rural Pakistan. The government is devoid from realities of increase in poverty, food insecurity is being ignored.
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