ISLAMABAD, October 1, 2010: The National Assembly met briefly for 95 minutes in the 10th sitting of ongoing 25th Session. The sitting started an hour and five minutes late than the stipulated time.
The question of low attendance of members persisted during the tenth sitting, when only 69 (20%) members were present at the onset of the sitting and 92 (27%) present at the end. The maximum attendance of members was recorded at 119 (35%), when the Prime Minister was present.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 25 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent. Only the Parliamentary Leader of PPPS was present, while other Parliamentary Leaders did not turn up.
The House unanimously passed a resolution on “foundation of a forum for young parliamentarians (MNAs below the age of 40)”. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 35 minutes.
- The tenth sitting started at 1105 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 65 minutes.
- The entire sitting was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, while the Speaker remained absent.
- The Prime Minister was present for 25 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Only the Parliamentary Leader PPPS was present, while the leaders of PML, MMAP, MQM, ANP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PMLN, PML, MQM and ANP were present, while the chief whips of PPPP, MMAP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 69(20%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 92 (27%) members at the end of the sitting.
- Seven members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as four out of 10 minority members were present during the 10thsitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one CAN, regarding “non-release of funds for development projects in earthquake affected Districts Shangla, Kohastan, Batgram, Mansehra and Abbottabad”. The CAN was directed to the Cabinet Secretariat and was moved by three members of PML.
- A total of 28 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only eight were raised and responded to by the relevant minister
- A total of 25 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the tenth sitting
- There were two bills on the Orders of the Day. Both [The Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Bill, 2010] and [The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2007] were not taken up by the House.
- Two Committee Reports were submitted to House in tenth sitting. The Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privilege submitted its report on a Question of Privilege, which was raised by PML MNA Mr. Akram Masih Gill. Standing Committee on Railways submitted its report on the issue of “allotment of Railways land to Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, Lahore on nominal prices”.
Order and institutionalization
- Six Points of Order were raised, consuming 19 minutes of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- A resolution was unanimously passed by the House on “a foundation of a forum for young parliamentarians (MNAs below the age of 40)”. The resolution was moved by a female parliamentarian belonging to PML.
- The House did not debate on the admitted Adjournment Motion regarding “non-release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from prison in the USA”.
- There was one Motion Under Rule 259 on the Orders of the Day, regarding “Human Rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir” which was not taken up by the House.
- There was no instance of Protest, Walkout or Boycott.
- 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 Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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