Petition challenges eligibility of women legislators in Pak

Women members of national, provincial assemblies are holding reserved seats.

Lahore: The eligibility of 188 women members of Pakistan`s national and provincial assemblies, who are holding reserved seats, has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

The women were elected to the national and provincial assemblies in reserved seats, which were created through a constitutional amendment during the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

A constitutional petition filed yesterday in the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court by an advocate named Malik Tariq Aziz challenges the eligibility of the women lawmakers.

Aziz, the head of the Jurist Forum for Human Rights, said in his petition that 60 women members of the National Assembly or lower house of parliament and 128 members of the four provincial assemblies were holding the reserved seats against the mandate of the Constitution.

He said such allocation of seats in the assemblies violated Articles 25 and 226 of the Constitution as they are a source of gender discrimination.

He said Rs 2.26 billion is being spent every year on the perks and privileges of the women lawmakers despite the fact that the country is facing a debt of around Rs 9 billion.

Aziz asked the court to declare the election of the women lawmakers in reserved seats null and void.