PAKISTAN: Petition for Direct Election of Women

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

A civil society activist on Tuesday filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking direct elections of women on reserved seats in the parliament.

The petitioner, Gul Zari Khan, also requested the court to order the political parties to hold intra-party elections.

Citing Election Commission of Pakistan and ministry of law and justice as respondents, the petitioner adopted before the court that under the constitution of Pakistan there are 60 reserved seats of women in the National Assembly, 17 in the Senate and 128 in the four provincial assemblies.

The political parties nominate women for the reserved seats in accordance with their presence in the upper, lower house of the parliament and the provincial assemblies adding that this practice is against the will of democracy and the election spirit, the petitioner said.

The petition also pointed out that a number of political parties are reluctant to hold free and fair intra-party elections.

IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman admitted the petition for hearing.