National Assembly Discusses Recent Violent Protests

ISLAMABAD, November 5, 2018: The National Assembly took up the issue of recent violent protests held across the country against the Apex Court’s decision of acquitting Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case and the agreement reached between the protesting parties and the government, observes the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily Factsheet on Monday.

Following are key observations of the House proceedings during the sixth sitting of 4th session:

Members’ Participation

  • The National Assembly met for three hours and 26 minutes.
  • The sitting started at 1738 hours against the scheduled time of 1700 hours.
  • The Speaker presided over the entire sitting.
  • The Deputy Speaker was not present.
  • The Leader of House (Prime Minister) did not attend the sitting.
  • The Leader of Opposition Leader attended the sitting for 36 minutes. He was released from National Accountability Bureau’s custody to attend the sitting on production orders issued by the Speaker.
  • As many as 81 lawmakers (24%) were present at outset and 121(35%) at adjournment of the sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of GDA, JWP and BAP attended the sitting.
  • As many as five out of 10 minority lawmakers were present.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) regarding non-redressal of the grievances of poor fishermen of coastal area of Gawadar and closure of Kemari Passenger Jati. Both CANs were responded to by Parliamentary Secretary for Maritime Affairs.
  • As many as seven out of 46 starred questions were taken up by the House while lawmakers asked 16 supplementary questions as well. Three questions were deferred, one was not taken up due to absence of relevant lawmaker and 35 remaining questions could not be considered due to time constraint.
  • The House did not discuss a motion under Rule 259 about the existing economic conditions of the country.

  Order and Institutionalization 

  • As many as nine lawmakers spoke on points of order for an hour and eight minutes which were mostly regarding the agreement reached between the protesting parties and the government following the Apex Court’s decision of acquitting Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.
  • The treasury and opposition lawmakers exchanged harsh words during the sitting and the Chair had to adjourn the proceedings to avoid brawl as one of the PPPP lawmaker rushed towards a PTI lawmaker against his remarks for the Opposition.
  • The House was adjourned to meet again on November 6, 2018 (Tuesday) at 1100 hours.


  • Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and public.
  • Attendance of lawmakers is available on the National Assembly’s website.

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