ISLAMABAD: Punjab’s share in the general seats of the National Assembly is likely to go down by as much as seven when a new constituency delimitation exercise is conducted in accordance with the population figures provisionally released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics last month.
Out of a total of 272 geographical constituencies, the country’s biggest province currently has the majority share of 148 seats. Census 2017 has revealed that the population growth rate in Punjab has been the lowest among all the federating units.
Punjab’s loss will mean gain for other provinces. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be the biggest beneficiary gaining four more seats while Balochistan is likely to add two to its tally of 14 and the share of Islamabad will rise from two to three. Sindh share is likely to remain unchanged.
These calculations are based on the assumption that Fata will continue to retain 12 seats that are double its share in the country’s population. The tribal areas have been accorded similar advantage in all delimitations undertaken since 1970. The unsaid justification for this treatment is that since the area is not represented in a provincial assembly, it has to be compensated with greater representation in the National Assembly .