ISLAMABAD, February 19, 2013: Starting 42 minutes late, the second sitting of ongoing session that met for two hours and 30 minutes on Tuesday left most of the agenda items, listed on the Orders of the Day, unaddressed.
Like previous Private Members’ Days, the agenda for today’s sitting was also set ambitiously which is not possible to take up during a span of a single sitting. The sitting was also marked by low attendance as only 25 legislators (7% of the total membership) were present at the start while 63 were there at adjournment.
Additionally, the Prime Minister, Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition as well as the parliamentary leaders of MQM, MMAP, PML, PMLF and ANP did not attend the sitting.
Twelve Members debated the Motions under Rule 259 about the Quetta blast issue for 135 minutes.
MQM and PMLN Members staged walkouts over the recent Quetta bomb blast.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 30 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1100 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1142 hours, witnessing a delay of 42 minutes.
- The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker did not attend the sitting. A Member of Panel of Chairpersons chaired the entire sitting.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
- Only the parliamentary leader of NPP attended the sitting.
- The chief whips of PPPP, MMAP, PML, NPP and ANP were present whereas those of MQM, PMLN, PPPS, BNPA and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
- Twenty-five members were present at the outset while 63 were there at the end. A maximum of 100 members were present at one point of sitting.
- Three minority members attended the sitting.
- Sixteen Members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- No question hour was held.
- Twelve Members debated the Motions under Rule 259 about the Quetta blast issue for 135 minutes.
- Five bills appearing on the Orders of the Day were not taken up by the House.
- Five Resolutions and seven Motions under Rule 259 were also left unaddressed.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three Points of Order consumed three minutes.
- MQM and PMLN Members staged walkouts separately over the recent Quetta bomb blast.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed by any of the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI); a member organization of FAFEN
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