ISLAMABAD, April 12, 2017: The National Assembly passed a government bill amidst walkout of the opposition parties against enforced disappearances in the province of Sindh, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Wednesday.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during first sitting of the 41st session:
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 33 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1520 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the entire sitting except for the last 14 minutes, which was chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House (Prime Minister) did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition remained present for an hour and 28 minutes.
- Forty-five lawmakers (13%) were present at the outset and 43 (12%) at the adjournment of sitting.
- The Parliamentary leaders of JUI-F, JI, PkMAP, NP and AMLP attended the sitting.
- Seven minority members were present.
- On behalf of Chairman Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, PML-N female lawmaker presented the committee’s report on the Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Bill, 2017. The House condoned the delay in the presentation of the report.
- The House passed the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology Bill, 2017 as passed by the Senate with amendments.
- Minister for Law presented the Second Quarterly Report of the Board of Directors of the State Bank of Pakistan on the state of Pakistan’s Economy for the year 2016-2017.
- The periodical reports of the Standing Committees on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan; Rules of Procedure and Privileges; National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination; Law and Justice and Planning, Development and Reforms were presented.
Representation and Responsiveness
- As many as seven out of 32 Starred Questions were responded to by the government. The lawmakers also asked 21 Supplementary Questions.
- The House took up a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) on a letter of Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) to the government employees regarding loans. Another CAN on electricity load-shedding was deferred due to absence of the movers.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers spoke on four Points of Order consuming as many minutes of the sitting.
- The lawmakers belonging to PPPP staged a walkout at 1658 hours against the enforced disappearances of their party loyalists. JI lawmakers also left the House along with PPPP colleagues against blocking of the computerized national identity cards (CNICs) of Pukhtuns. They did not return to the House till adjournment of the sitting.
- MQM lawmakers also walked out of the House for 23 minutes against the enforced disappearances of their political workers.
- A PTI lawmaker pointed out quorum at 1718 minutes but it was found complete on counting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- The attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted.
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