ISLAMABAD: Putting all rumours to rest, the Election Commission of Pakistan has approved schedule for the upcoming Senate elections which are likely to be held in the first week of March.
The tenure of 52 senators from four provinces, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Islamabad is going to expire on March 11 after completion of their six-year term in the upper house of the parliament. Election will be held for a similar number of seats in the four provincial assemblies.
On Tuesday, the ECP issued a notification about approval of the schedule of the Senate’s elections and said another notification will be issued on February 2, 2018. The ECP also announced appointment of returning officers (ROs) and polling officers (POs) for this practice.
According to sources in the ECP, the election is likely to be held on March 3.
The Senate comprises 104 members in which 23 each are from four provinces, eight from Fata and four from Islamabad. The 23 seats allocated for each province comprise 14 general seats, four reserved for women, four for technocrats and one for a minority member.
The ECP also announced to appoint one of its additional director generals as the RO and two other additional director generals as the POs for election of the four members of the Fata and federal capital to be held in Islamabad. According to the notification, there are four ROs and 22 polling officers for polling at the four provincial assemblies.
On March 11, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) which has 27 seats in the upper house, will lose 18 senators while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which has 26 senators, will lose nine seats. About five independent candidates will also complete their term while the PML-Quaid will be losing four seats.
The tenure of four senators from the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) will also end. There senators of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl will also retire, two of Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A) two; one of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and one senator of the PML-Functional.
About 12 senators from Punjab are going to retire in March. Among these seven – Hamza, Kamil Ali Agha, Mohsin Laghari, Zafarullah Khan Dhandla, Saud Majeed, Zulfiqar Khan Khosa, Asif Saeed Kirmani – were elected on general seats. Aitzaz Ahsan and Ishaq Dar were elected on technocrat’s seats, Khalida Parveen and Nuzhat Sadiq on women seats and Kamran Michael on non-Muslim’s quota.
Twelve senators are also retiring from Sindh. Of these, seven were elected on general seats, two on technocrat’s seats, two on women’s seat and on non-Muslim’s seat.
The seven senators elected on general seats included Murtaza Wahab, Tahir Mashhadi, Karim Khawaja, Maulana Tanveerul Haq, Raza Rabbani, Mukhtiar Dhamrah and Muzafar Hussain Shah.
Farogh Naseem and Taj Haider will complete their term on technocrat’s quota, Nasreen Jalil and Sehar Kamran on women seat while Senator Hari Ram on non-Muslim’s quota.
Eleven senators are retiring from Balochistan.
Daud Khan Achakzai, Hafiz Hamdullah; Israrullah Khan Zehri, Muhammad Yousaf, Saeedul Hassan and Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi were elected on general seats. Mufti Abdul Sattar and Rozi Khan Kakar were elected on technocrats’ seat and Naseema Ehsan and Rubina Irfan were elected on women’s seat.
Eleven senators from the K-P will also retire in March. Those who were elected on general seats include Ahmad Hassan, Baz Muhammad Khan, Haji Saifullah Khan, Azam Khan Swati, Talha Mahmood, Nisar Muhammad and Shahi Syed. Senator Farhatullah Babar and Ilyas Bilour will end their term on technocrat seats while Senator Rubina Khalid and Zahida Khan will retire from women’s seats.
Fata’s four senators – Hidayatullah, Hilalur Rehman, Malik Najmul Hassan and Muhammad Saleh Shah – will retire in March. Osman Saifullah Khan who was elected on Islamabad’s general seat and Mushahid Hussain Syed who was elected on technocrat seat will also retire.