ISLAMABAD, November 15, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 28 minutes during the second sitting of the ongoing 36th session. The sitting was marked by low attendance of Members, with 76 present at the outset and 68 present at the end. The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the Legislators.
As an ambitious agenda was set up for the second sitting, the National Assembly did not address 88% of the agenda. A total of 38 Points of Order were raised, consuming 83% of the total time. However, none of the POs attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill 2008 was unanimously passed by the House.
The Prime Minister attended the proceedings for 43 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was not present. The parliamentary leaders of the MQM, PPPS, BNPA and NPP were present, while the leaders of other parliamentary parties remained absent.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 28 minutes.
- The second sitting started at 1117 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1030 hours. The House proceedings started late by 47 minutes.
- The Initial 63 minutes of the sitting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by the Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 43 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was not present.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP, PPPS, MQM and BNPA were present while the leaders of the MMAP, ANP, PML and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PMLN, MQM and PPPP were present, while those of the PML, ANP, MMAP and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 76 (22%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 68 (20%) Members at the end of the sitting.
- A total of 14 Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Nine out of 10 minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one CAN.
- Jointly moved by three PPPP and two PMLN Members, the CAN was regarding “incidents of dacoities on G.T. Road and National Highways”, which was directed to the Ministry of Communications.
- There was no Question and Answer session as Tuesday’s sitting was a Private Members Day.
- Three Bills were listed on the Orders of the Day. The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill 2008 was taken up, and subsequently passed by the House. The remaining two Bills were not taken up.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 38 Points of Order were raised, consuming 123 minutes (83% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- A total of five Resolutions were tabled on the Orders of the Day, which were not taken up by the House.
- There was no Adjournment Motion raised during the course of the sitting.
- A total of seven Motions under Rule 259 were listed on the agenda, but were not taken up by the House.
- One Matter of Public Importance regarding ““Afghan Transit Trade Agreement-2010 and its affects on the economy of Pakistan” was also listed for the Private Members’ Day agenda, but was not taken up by the House.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the 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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