ISLAMABAD, August 10, 2015: The National Assembly left entire agenda unaddressed during the 11th sitting of its ongoing 24th session on Monday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The unaddressed agenda included six legislative bills, three periodic reports of the Standing Committees and two Calling Attention Notices (CANs). In addition, a Motion of Thanks to express gratitude to the President of Pakistan for addressing the joint sitting on 4th June, 2015 and a Motion under Rule 259 to discuss the death toll resulting from the heat wave in Sindh and other parts of the country were also not taken up.
The sitting started 40 minutes behind the schedule with 41 lawmakers (12%) present at the start and 40 (11%) at the time of adjournment. The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, however it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers.
PTI and PPPP lawmakers walked out of the House for exclusion of their submitted agenda items in the sitting’s agenda. The proposed agenda items were aimed at condemning the child abuse issue in Kasur. MQM lawmakers also walked out to express sympathy with victims of Kasur incident and against the alleged target killing of one of their party workers.
Some key observations are as follows:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 15 minutes
- The sitting started at 1740 hours against the scheduled time of 1700 hours
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was not present
- The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting
- 41 members (12%) were present at the start and 40 (11%) at the end of the sitting. As many as 172 lawmakers (50%) were present at one point of the sitting
- The parliamentary leaders of PML, PML-Z, JUI-F, APML and PkMAP did not attend the sitting
- Six out of 10 minority members attended the sitting
- Twelve members applied for leave
- The House did not take up six bills appearing on the agenda, which included the Electoral Rolls (Amendment) Bill 2015; the Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill 2015; the Safeguard Measures (Amendment) Bill 2015; the Countervailing Duties Bill 2015; the Anti-Dumping Duties Bill 2015 and the National Tariff Commission Bill 2015.
- Periodic reports of the Standing Committees on Industries and Production, Defense and Ports & Shipping were not presented in the sitting.
- Tabled by Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination, the House adopted a supplementary resolution to condemn Kasur incident and to arrest the accused.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House did not take up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs); one regarding non-provision of the necessary facilities to Hujjaj by the Private Haj Tour Operators despite receiving heavy charges, and the other pertaining to discrimination in the allocation of development funds to the women parliamentarians.
- Nine out of 18 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, lawmakers raised 21 supplementary questions.
- The House did not discuss a Motion of Thanks to express gratitude to the President of Pakistan for his address to the joint session on June 4, 2015 while a commenced motion under rule 259 regarding deaths in Sindh and other areas due to heat wave was also not taken up.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twenty-eight Points of Order consumed 108 minutes (42%) of the sitting
- PPPP and PTI lawmakers walked out of the House for three and 17 minutes respectively to protest the exclusion of their submitted agenda items from the Orders of the Day. The proposed agenda item were aimed at condemning the child abuse issue in Kasur.
- MQM lawmakers also walked out for 27 minutes to express sympathy with victims of Kasur incident and against the alleged target killing of one of their party worker.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others
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This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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