The Senate of Pakistan is the upper house of Parliament. The four federating units have equal representation in it. This is in line with the constitutional role attributed to the Upper House i.e. the promotion of national cohesion and harmony, which is essential for the growth and prosperity of any nation. The Senate in Pakistan, over the years, has emerged as an essential organ and a stabilizing factor of the federation. It is a permanent house that symbolizes a process of continuity in national affairs. The term of its member is six years. However, one half of its members retire after every three years. Each of the four provincial assemblies elect 23 members from their respective provinces whereas four members are elected by the National Assembly from the Federal Capital. Currently, the Senate of Pakistan has 104 members. Detail are shown below:
The allocation of seats for the Senate after the 25th constitutional amendment (May 2018) are as follows:
|Punjab||Sindh||Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||Balochistan||Federal Capital||Total|
|Seats reserved for non-Muslims||1||1||1||1||0||4|
*The current Senate also has eight elected members from FATA. Hence, there are 104 sitting members, including the 96 mentioned in the table above and 8 from FATA. These eight seats were allocated to FATA before the 25th constitutional amendment made by Parliament in May 2018. The next Senate elections will not include the election of members from FATA as FATA will be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- The minimum age to become a member of the Senate is 30 years.
- Senate elections take place in accordance with Article 59 of the Constitution. Each of the four provincial assemblies elects 23 members from their respective provinces as per provisions in the table above.
- The National Assembly elects members for seats designated for the Federal Capital.
- A casual vacancy in the Senate, caused by resignation, death, incapacitation, disqualification or removal of a member, is filled through an election by the respective electoral college, and the member so elected holds office for the un-expired term of the member whose vacancy they have filled.
- A person seeking election to the Senate should be a registered voter in an area or province from where they seek election and should meet other qualifications prescribed under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
- It is the responsibility of the Chief Election Commissioner to hold and make arrangements for the Senate elections.
- After the Senate has been duly constituted, it elects a Chairman and Deputy Chairman from amongst its members in its first meeting.
- The term of office of the Chairman or Deputy Chairman is three years from the day they enter office.