ISLAMABAD, September 24, 2010: The National Assembly met briefly in fifth sitting of the 25th session for an hour and thirty minutes leaving most of the agenda items unaddressed most probably due to shortage of time. The entire sitting time was taken up by the Question Hour and Points of Order.
There were a total of 62 members present at the outset of the sitting, while 96 were present at the end.
The Parliamentary Leaders of only PML and PPPS were present while the rest of parliamentary leaders did not turn up. The Prime Minister missed fifth sitting while the Leader of Opposition was present. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 30 minutes.
- The fifth sitting started at 1100 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 60 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting, while the Speaker was absent.
- The Prime Minister remained absent, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for 25 minutes.
- Only the Parliamentary Leaders of PPPS and PML were present, while the leaders of MMAP, ANP, MQM, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PMLN, MMAP and ANP were present, while the chief whips of PPPP, MQM, PMLF, PML, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 62 (18%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 96 (28%) members at the end of the sitting.
- Ten members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as five out of 10 minority members were present during the 5thsitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House did not take up both the CANs.
- A total of 20 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only five were raised and responded to by the relevant minister
- A total of 18 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the fifth sitting.
- There was one bill [The Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Bill, 2010] on the Orders of the Day, which was not taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- Six Points of Order were raised, consuming 30 minutes of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- There was one Motion Under Rule 259 regarding the “Human Rights violations in Occupied Kashmir” on the Orders of the Day. However, the House did not debate on this issue.
- An adjournment motion was admitted on “non-release of Dr Afia Siddique from prison in United States of America”.
- There was no instance of protest, walkout or boycott during the fourth sitting.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the members of the National Assembly.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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