NA: First Sitting Witnesses Low Attendance of Members

ISLAMABAD, December 10, 2012: Starting 45 minutes late, the first sitting of the 48 session witnessed low attendance as only 13% of the total membership -341– was present at the outset while 13% were there at the adjournment.

The House passed the Maritime Security Agency (Amendment) Bill and adopted a Resolution declaring Malala Yousaf Zai as the ‘Daughter of Pakistan.

Three Members – two PMLN and one Independent – spoke on the motion about law and order for 40 minutes.

The Prime Minister, Speaker, and the parliamentary leaders of PML, PMLF, ANP, MMAP, BNPA, NPP and PPPS did not attend the sitting.

Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for two hours and 32 minutes.
  • The sitting started at 1745 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours, witnessing a delay of 45 minutes.
  • The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 27 minutes while the remaining time was presided over by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons.
  • The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was there for 19 minutes.
  • Only the parliamentary leader of MQM attended the sitting while those of PML, PMLF, ANP, MMAP, BNPA, NPP and PPPS did not attend the sitting.
  • The chief whips of PPPP, PMLN, and ANP attended the sitting.
  • Fifty-six members (16% of total membership – 341) were present at the start while 45 (13%) were there at the adjournment of the sitting. A maximum of 136 (40%) members were present at one point of the sitting.
  • Seven minority members attended the sitting.
  • Eight members applied for leave.

 Representation and Responsiveness

  • Twelve of the 30 starred questions appearing on the agenda were raised and responded to by the relevant ministers. Additionally, 14 supplementary questions were asked.
  • Two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) appearing on the Orders of the Day were taken up by the House.  The CANs were about “the rapid increase of HIV disease in Islamabad”, and “the other was closure of CNG stations in the capital because of non-supply of gas”.
  • A Motion under Rule 259 to discuss the law and order in the country was debated for 40 minutes. The motion was tabled on September 03, 2012.


  • The House unanimously passed the Maritime Security Agency (Amendment) Bill 2012.
  • The Juvenile Justice System (Amendment) Bill, 2012 was also presented to the House.
  • Moved by a PPPP legislator, a Resolution to declare Malala Yousaf Zai as the ‘Daughter of Pakistan’ was unanimously passed by the House. This Resolution was presented as supplementary agenda.
  • A Standing Committee Report on the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Bill was not taken up.

Order and Institutionalization

  • Eleven Points of Order were raised which consumed 20 minutes of the sitting time.
  • A PMLN minority member staged a 15-minute walkout protesting for no action being taken by the authorities against the accused of rape of a minority girl in Sindh.


  • Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
  • Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.

 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