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SIC Protests Erupt: Reserved Members’ Oath Sparks Unrest in Punjab Assembly

Punjab Assembly

In a tumultuous turn of events, members of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) staged a raucous protest within the hallowed halls of the Punjab Assembly on Friday, marking a heated confrontation as the last remaining reserved seat members took their oaths.

The session, presided over by Speaker Malik Ahmad Khan, commenced with a significant delay of over one and a half hours. However, tensions flared when 24 members on reserved seats affiliated with the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) were sworn in, triggering a vehement protest from the SIC.

In a display of dissent, SIC members brandished posters featuring the likeness of Imran Khan and encircled the speaker’s dais. Speaker Malik Ahmad Khan, attempting to restore order, encouraged the opposition to voice their protests within the confines of their designated area.

The roots of the controversy trace back to the SIC’s application for reserved seats for women and minorities, allocated based on proportional representation in the assemblies.

However, the Election Commission of Pakistan rejected the party’s claim, citing a failure to submit a candidate list in advance. Consequently, other parties secured the remaining reserved seats in the assembly.

Undeterred, the SIC sought legal recourse, approaching the Peshawar High Court, which issued a stay order against the oath-taking by reserved seat members.

Notably, this stay order, valid until March 13, exclusively pertains to the National and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies.

Undeterred by the limited scope of the stay order, the SIC declared its intent to file a petition in the Lahore High Court, seeking redress for the denied reserved seats within the Punjab Assembly.

The unfolding events underscore the complexity and volatility surrounding the allocation of reserved seats, injecting a significant dose of uncertainty into the provincial legislative landscape.

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