Aaj English TV

Sunday, April 21, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

A unique Punjab national constituency with enclaves in Sindh

Voters in Sindh will be voting for representatives from Punjab
Two areas of NA-174 are surrounded by Sindh. Photo via Aaj Digital
Two areas of NA-174 are surrounded by Sindh. Photo via Aaj Digital

As Syed Maaz at the digital department of Aaj News drew a GIS map for Pakistan’s 266 National Assembly constituencies, he stumbled upon a unique geographic feature. A national constituency from Punjab had at least two small patches lying outside the province.

The NA-174 constituency covers Sadiqabad teshil of Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan district, bordering the Sindh province. However, two villages — a population of 100,000 people — from the same tehsil are located inside the Sindh province, forming what is known as enclaves – geographic regions part of one administrative unit, located inside another administrative unit.

Machka Union Council and its little sister Kharor Union Council are surrounded by land that falls in the Kashmore, Jacobabad and Ghotki districts of Sindh.

On February 9, people in these two villages, which appear to be part of Sindh, would be electing representatives from Punjab.

One of the biggest questions raised during the delimitation process often concerns the boundaries of the constituencies. The boundaries should drawn in a way that the voters and candidates face no obstacle.

In contrast, the two areas of NA 174 are not only separated from the rest of the constituency but the provincial border also stands as an obstacle between the two areas and the rest of the constituency.

Such a situation occurred not just because of delimitation, but also due to the border between the two provinces.

In the northern part of Sindh, Machka and Kharor are not administratively a part of Sindh. The region is included in the Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab.

There are two union councils, Machka and Kharor, in this part of the province with a population of 100,000.

Based on administrative division, the two areas from Punjab were made part of the NA-174 constituency.

A police station and various checkposts have also been established in the two areas.

When the Election Commission of Pakistan conducted delimitation in 2023, the Rahim Yar Khan deputy commissioner issued a certificate along with the delimitation of NA-174. All constituencies, patwar houses and mauzas/villages are included in this constituency and no revenue unit is left out, it stated.

The complication regarding Rahim Yar Khan’s two enclaves in Sindh is not limited to the election. In the past, questions have also arisen regarding a place of worship.

A few years ago, it was reported that the place of worship in Mian Kundiwala village is in Sindh whereas its niche (Mehrab) lies in Punjab.

Due to such confusion, worshipers were in Sindh and Pesh Imam in Punjab during Eid prayers.

According to a report by The Independent Urdu, local journalist Muhammad Bakhsh Ghunio said: “Later the villagers thought that this should not happen. After this, they asked the Pesh Imam to stand two steps behind. Now worshippers and Pesh Imam both offer prayers in Sindh.”

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general elections

rahim yar khan

election 2024

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