Low attendance 10th sitting meets for 2 hours

ISLAMABAD, March 26, 2010: The Low Attendance tenth sitting met for two hours and 1 minute with 67 members present at the outset. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 38 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Tenth Sitting of 20th Session of the National Assembly Proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for 2 Hours and 1 Minute.
  • The Tenth sitting started at 1044 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 44 minutes.
  • The Speaker chaired the sitting for 88 minutes, while Miss. Yasmeen Rehman chaired the remaining 33 minutes (Panel of Chairpersons). The Deputy Speaker was present during the course of the sitting. However, he did not chair the sitting.
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 38 minutes. However, the Leader of Opposition was absent.
  • Parliamentary leaders of MMAP, ANP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of PML, NPP, MQM, PMLF and BNPA remained absent.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, MQM, ANP and PPPS, and were present, while the Chief Whips of PML, MMAP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
  • Four members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 67 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 163 members remained present at the end of the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both CANs.
  • The Calling Attention Notices taken up by the House were directed to the Ministry of Narcotics Control and the Ministry of Water and Power.
  •  The CAN directed to the Ministry of Narcotics Control was tabled by 5 members of PPPP, while the CAN directed to the Ministry of Water and Power was sponsored by 5 members of PMLN.
  • A total of 29 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only 12 questions were raised and responded to, by the relevant minister.


  • The only bill [The Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Bill, 2010] on the Orders of the day was introduced in the House.

Order and institutionalization

  • 11 Points of Order were raised, taking up 23 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
  • There was one Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day. However, the House did not debate the issue
  • There was one instance of a token walkout by an independent member for 3 minutes on the issue of “neglecting FATA in amending the constitution of Pakistan”.


  • Orders of the Day was 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