ISLAMABAD, November 15, 2012: The sixth sitting of the ongoing Senate’s session, which met for two hours and 13 minutes, was marked by a protest by PMLN and ANP Senators over the raid by Frontier Corps on Talal Bugti’s house in Balochistan.
Starting 42 minutes late, the sitting also continued to witness low attendance of Senators as only nine were present at the outset while 21 were there at the adjournment.
Additionally, the Deputy Chairman, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary leaders of ANP, MQM, PML, BNPA and PMLF were not present in the House.
Two PPPP Senators spoke on motion under rule 218 about the law and order situation, with particular reference to target killings and sectarian violence in Balochistan, Karachi and Gilgit Baltistan, for 22 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and 13 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1642 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The proceedings started late by 42 minutes.
- The Chairman chaired the sitting for an hour and 38 minutes while the remaining time was presided over by a member of panel of chairpersons. The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
- The parliamentary leaders of NP and JUIF attended the sitting.
- Nine Senators were present at the start of the sitting while 21 were there at adjournment. A maximum of 36 Senators were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Three Senators applied for leave.
- Two minority Senators were present.
- The House took a 32-minute break.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Eight out of 20 questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministry. Additionally, 17 supplementary questions were also asked.
- A calling attention notice regarding a strike by CNG stations which is affecting public at large was not taken up by the house.
- Two Senators of PPPP spoke on motion under rule 218 about the law and order situation with particular reference to target killings and sectarian violence in Balochistan, Karachi and Gilgit Baltistan for 22 minutes.
- No bills appeared on the Orders of the Day.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three points of order consumed ten minutes of the sitting time.
- ANP and PMLN Senators staged a protest and walked out of the House over the raid by FC on Talal Bugti’s home in Balochistan. The walkout lasted 10 minutes.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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