Opposition Stages Walkout in Senate over Ministerial Absence

  • Session Prorogued

ISLAMABAD, December 23, 2016: The opposition lawmakers staged a walkout in the House of Federation over ministerial absence to respond to a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) related to recent PIA plane crash, says Free and Fair Election Network on Friday.

Sponsored jointly by PTI and PPPP female lawmakers, the House took up a CAN regarding crash of ATR plane en-route to Islamabad from Chitral on December 7, 2016. Over the absence of any relevant official to respond to the CAN, the Chair directed to issue notices to Secretary Aviation Authority and Director PIA for breaching the privilege of the House. The entire opposition also staged a walkout over the issue at 1202 hours and did not return to the House until prorogation of the sitting.

Following are key observations of the House business during 5th and last sitting of the Senate’s 257th session:

Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for two hours and 20 minutes.
  • The sitting started three minutes behind the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
  • The Chairman presided over the sitting for an hour and 11 minutes while the rest of proceedings was chaired by a member of Panel of Presiding Officers.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for an hour and 54 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition was absent.
  • Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman did not attend the sitting.
  • Parliamentary leaders of BNP-M, PPPP, PkMAP, PML-F, MQM, PML and PML-N attended the sitting.
  • Fifteen members (14% of the total membership -104) were present at the outset and 10 (9%) at the end of sitting.
  • One minority Senator attended the sitting.


  • The House adopted proposed amendments in rule 203 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012.
  • Convener Special Committee on Marginalized Segments of Society presented 2nd Interim report on marginalized segments of society.

 Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs). The first notice was regarding the PIA plane crash en-route to Islamabad from Chitral on December 7, 2016 while the other CAN was about Indo-Pak trade despite repeated violations of ceasefire by the Indian forces at the Line of Control (LoC), resulting in the deaths and injuries of dozens of innocent Pakistani citizens.
  • Minister for Law and Justice defended the government decision to place five regulatory bodies under the control of ministries. He spoke for 24 minutes.
  • The Chairman expressed his opinion over the same issue for 13 minutes and reserved his ruling over it.
  • The House passed a motion under sub-rule (2) of rule 203 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012. It was about consideration of the Right to Information Bill, 2016 by Select Committee as well as its composition.
  • Two Adjournment Motions were not admitted due to absence of movers while another motion was withdrawn by its mover.

Order and Institutionalization 

  • One Point of Order consumed five minutes of the proceedings.
  • The entire opposition staged a walkout for 51 minutes over absence of ministers as well as relevant authorities to respond to a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) related to PIA ATR plane crash on December 7, 2016.


  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
  •  The attendance of lawmakers is available on the website.

This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted