ISLAMABAD – President Zardari has summoned the session of the National Assembly and Senate at five o’ clock today (Monday).

This session will be the 50th session of the fifth parliamentary year of the incumbent National Assembly and most probably the last, as its mandated tenure would be culminating on March 16.

The president has summoned the National Assembly Session in exercise of powers conferred by clause (1) of Article of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Sources said the government may table the 24th Amendment Bill for creation of Bahawalpur South Punjab province in the National Assembly today.

The bill was laid before the Upper House of Parliament in its previous session and the same was referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice for a review. The committee would also be meeting on Monday ahead of Senate session and may give approval to the bill that would be subsequently tabled before the Upper House for legislation.

Parliamentary sources informed The Nation that MQM's quitting of the ruling alliance had made the task of legislation on new province in the Punjab next to impossible, as the government was not having two-thirds majority in the Lower House of Parliament, even including the MQM.

Sources in the main Opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said they had also chalked out a strategy to counter the government and in case they would table the 24th Amendment Bill in the National Assembly, the PML-N would bring their own bill for creation of two provinces instead of one.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement parliamentarians in both the houses would also make a formal request to the National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman for allocation of seats on opposition benches. In the National Assembly, Dr Farooq Sattar, parliamentary leader of the MQM, would be making the request for allocation of seats on opposition benches, and in the Senate, Col (retired) Tahir Mashhadi.

Sources close to the MQM said their three ministers in the Federal Cabinet would also be tendering resignation for their slots on Monday (today). The sources further said that the much-controversial DHA bill was likely to be presented in the National Assembly during the current session, which is likely to remain in session for at least two weeks.