ISLAMABAD, April 22, 2014: The Balochistan Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the targeted attacks on working journalists across the country and demanded the arrest of perpetrators of such crimes during first sitting of its 9th session on Tuesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Chief Minister informed the lawmakers about his visit to the hospital to enquire after the health of a senior anchorperson who received bullet wounds in Karachi on Saturday last. Leader of the Opposition called for immediate arrest of the culprits in a bid to avoid any further confusion.
None of the 11 starred questions (requiring oral as well as written replies) was taken up and the House deferred the Question Hour to discuss the murderous attack on senior journalist.
The journalists covering the proceedings walked out from the sitting against the attack. Two provincial ministers and a female lawmaker of NP approached the journalists and convinced them to return to the House, which they did after five minutes.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Balochistan Assembly met for an hour and 57 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1658 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours, witnessing a delay of 58 minutes.
- Thirty-eight members were present at the outset while 24 were there at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition were present during the entire sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML, PkMAP, NP, JUI-F and ANP were present.
- Two minority members were present during the sitting.
- Nine members applied for leave.
- Tabled by the Leader of Opposition, the House unanimously adopted a resolution, condemning targeted attacks on working journalists across the country and demanded arrest of those involved in such heinous crimes.
Representation and Responsiveness
- None of the 11 starred questions (requiring oral as well as written replies) was taken up and the House deferred the Question Hour to discuss the situation arising out after the attack on senior anchorperson.
- The House took up an Adjournment Motion related to the prevailing law and order in the province. It was agreed that the issue would be discussed in any of the next sittings.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers spoke on six points of order, consuming eighteen minutes of the proceedings.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on legislators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Balochistan Assembly proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development (CPD), a Member organization of FAFEN.
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