Four seats for non-Muslim seats in Pakistan Senate

August 26th, 2011 - 12:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, Aug 26 (IANS) Four seats for non-Muslims have been reserved in Pakistan’s upper house of parliament.

President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday signed an amendment to reserve four seats for non-Muslims in the Senate, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

They will be elected by the members of each Provincial Assembly from the next Senate election.

Pakistan’s constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government with a bicameral legislature, comprising the National Assembly and the Senate. The membership of the Senate, which was originally 45, was raised to 63 in 1977 and to 87 in 1985. The government of General Pervez Musharraf raised the membership of the Senate from 87 to 100 in 2002.

This is for the first time that Senate will also have reserved seats for non-Muslims.

Previously, there were 10 reserved seats in the National Assembly for non-Muslims but none in the Senate.

Minorities form approximately four percent of Pakistan’s total population of over 170 million. Over 80 percent of the non-Muslims in Pakistan are either Christians or Hindus.

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