• Wednesday, May 29, 2024


Pakistan speaker’s ruling disrupts Punjab assembly, PML-N loses 27 seats

This dispute has now spilt over into the provincial and national assemblies, threatening the stability of the government. (Representative image: iStock)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

In a significant blow to the ruling coalition in Punjab, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its allies lost 27 reserved seats in the provincial assembly following Speaker Malik Mohammad Ahmed Khan’s decision to suspend 24 women and three minority Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs). This move, triggered by a point of order raised by opposition lawmaker Rana Aftab of the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), has plunged the assembly into chaos.

The controversy revolves around the allocation of reserved seats, with the Supreme Court intervening to suspend the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision regarding the allocation of seats to the SIC. The opposition argued that the SIC had neither contested elections nor submitted a list of nominees for the reserved seats.

Speaker Khan, after seeking legal opinions, ruled in favor of the opposition’s argument, leading to the suspension of the 27 members.

The suspension not only disrupted the functioning of the Punjab Assembly but also has ramifications for the ruling coalition at the national level. With President Asif Ali Zardari summoning the National Assembly session, a similar scenario is expected to unfold, further destabilizing the government.

The allocation of reserved seats has been a contentious issue, with the ECP withholding notifications due to disputes over seat distribution. This dispute has now spilt over into the provincial and national assemblies, threatening the stability of the government.

The recent killing of 11 workers from Punjab in Gwadar has further exacerbated tensions. The Punjab Assembly passed a resolution condemning the incident and demanding action from the federal government. Additionally, discussions regarding the development of South Punjab have intensified, with allegations and counter-allegations being exchanged between the government and the opposition.

Amidst the chaos, questions loom over the future of governance in Punjab. The suspension of elected representatives has raised concerns about the democratic process and the functioning of

institutions. Moreover, the inability to resolve disputes over seat allocation reflects poorly on the political leadership, highlighting the need for reforms to ensure transparent and fair elections.

As the political standoff unfolds, the people of Punjab remain uncertain about their future. The power struggle between political factions threatens to plunge the province into further instability, jeopardizing the progress and development initiatives. In these tumultuous times, the need for dialogue and cooperation among political stakeholders is paramount to steer Punjab towards peace and prosperity.

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