ISLAMABAD, August 3, 2011: The National Assembly met for three hours and 15 minutes during the third sitting of the ongoing 33rd session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with 96 Members present at the outset and 92 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
The House suspended the regular agenda to debate on the law and order situation in the Karachi and Quetta.
A total of seven Members of the House – two each of the PMLN and MQM, and one each of the PPPP, PML and ANP – spoke on the law and order situation in Karachi and Quetta for 101 minutes.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 35 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was not present. The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP was the only one present, whereas the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not turn up for the sitting’s proceedings. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 15 minutes.
- The third sitting started at 1100 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 60 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 56 minutes of the sitting, while the remaining 139 minutes of the sitting was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairperson. The Deputy Speaker was also present during the sitting.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 35 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was not present.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP was the only one present, while the leaders of the PML, ANP, PMLF, MQM, MMAP, PPPS and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, MQM, ANP and MMAP were present, while the chief whips of the PML, BNPA and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 96 (28%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 38 (27%) Members at the end of the sitting.
- As many as eight out of 10 minority Members were present during the 3rd sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. None of the CANs were taken up by the House.
- The House suspended the regular agenda to debate on the Law and Order situation in Karachi and Quetta.
- There were two bills [The Private Power and Infrastructure Board Bill, 2010 and the Private Power and Infrastructure Board Bill, 2010] on the Orders of the Day, which were not taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 12 Points of Order were raised, consuming 23 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- A total of seven Members of the House – two each of the PMLN and MQM, and one each of the PPPP, PML and ANP – spoke on the law and order situation in Karachi and Quetta for 101 minutes.
- There were no instances of protests, walkouts or boycotts during the third sitting.
- Orders of the Day were 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 the National Assembly.
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