Low attendance marks 11th sitting of 19th NA session

Sitting No. 11 of Session No. 19 of the National Assembly held on Monday, February 22, 2010

The eleventh sitting of Nineteenth Session was marked by the low attendance of MNAs. 35 members were present when the sitting started while there were 40 members in the House when the sitting ended. With the exception of PPPP and PPPS no leader of any parliamentary party was present during Monday’s sitting, reports the Free and Fair Election Network [FAFEN] in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly Proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for three hours and 05 minutes.
  • The Eleventh sitting started at 1720 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 20 minutes.
  • The Speaker and the relevant minister were present while Deputy Speaker remained absent during the sitting.
  • The Prime Minister remained present during the course of the sitting. However, Leader of the Opposition did not attend Monday’s sitting.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PPPP and PPPS were present while the leaders of PMLN, PML, MQM, MMAP, ANP, BNPA and PMLF remained absent.
  • 22 Members appealed for leave to be absent from the parliamentary sitting.
  • A total of 35 members were present at the start of the sitting, while 40 members were present at the end of the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both.
  • The first Calling Attention Notice taken up by the House was directed to the Ministry of Human Rights regarding ‘incidents of child abuse’. This CAN was raised by 3 PPPP members.
  • The other CAN, took up by the House was directed to the Ministry of Industries and Production regarding ‘condition of National Identity Card for the provision of sugar at Utility Stores’. This was raised by 5 PMLN members.
  •  A total of 23 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 7 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.


  • There were three bills on the agenda. The House took up two. One Bill [The Marine Insurance Bill, 2010] was introduced to the House.
  • A total of seven Ordinances were on the Orders of the Day, which were laid in the House.

 Order and institutionalization

  • 19 Points of Order were raised. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
  • The House continued debating admitted Adjournment Motion on “construction of water reservoirs by India on rivers in violation of Indus Basin Water Treaty”. The House debated the issue for an hour and 13 minutes during 11th sitting.
  • There was no instance of protest during the eleventh sitting.


  • 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 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