PM’s Maiden Speech Sets the Tone for Govt Priorities

  • Lack of Quorum Leads to Adjournment of Senate Sitting

ISLAMABAD, August 27, 2018: The Prime Minister in his maiden speech in the Senate on Monday emphasized the need for tax reforms and vowed to take up the sensitive issue of blasphemous caricatures at the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations Forum to highlight the religious sentiments of the Muslims, observes the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily Factsheet.

Later, the sitting was adjourned due to lack of quorum after walkout of the opposition parties against early departure of the Prime Minister who left the House without listening to their viewpoint on the priorities of the new government.

Following are key observations of the proceedings of the first sitting of 281st session:

Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for two hours and 20 minutes.
  • The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Deputy Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
  • The Leader of the House was present for two hours and three minutes.
  • The Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 49 minutes.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PPPP, JI, PTI, PML-N, PkMAP, PML-F, ANP and MQM attended the sitting.
  • Eighteen members (17% of the total membership – 104) were present at the outset and 22 (21%) at the end of sitting.
  • Three minority lawmakers attended the sitting.


  • Chairman Standing Committee on National Health Services presented report on the West Pakistan Prohibition of Smoking in Cinema House (Repeal) Bill, 2018.
  • Chairman, Standing Committee on Interior presented report of the Committee on the holding of Free, Fair and Transparent Elections as well as Security of General Elections, 2018.
  • The House unanimously adopted a supplementary resolution condemning the blasphemous cartoon competition in the Netherlands.
  • Moved by MQM lawmaker, the House passed the National Disaster Management (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The House witnessed introduction of three bills including the Islamabad Capital Territory Public Health (Surveillance and Response) Bill, 2018; the Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 and the Marriage Functions (Prohibition of Ostentatious Displays and Wasteful Expenses) Bill, 2018. All these bills were referred to the relevant committee for further deliberations.
  • A bill – the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Bill, 2018 – was withdrawn by its mover while two bills including the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Banking Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 were deferred on their mover’s request.
  • The House adopted two resolutions to ensure appointment of differently abled persons against the quota reserved for them in the Federal Government Departments and creation of analytical data base wing in all Ministries.
  • A resolution regarding name of newly constructed Islamabad International Airport was deferred while two other resolutions could not be taken up due to early adjournment of sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House did not take up any of the five motions on the agenda due to early adjournment of the sitting.
  • The Prime Minister condemned the blasphemous cartoon competition to be held in the Netherlands and also spoke on the priority areas of his new government for 13 minutes.

Order and Institutionalization 

  • The opposition lawmakers staged a token walkout from the House over alleged rigging in the General Elections held on July 25, 2018.
  • The entire opposition staged another walkout at 1715 hours when the Prime Minister left the House without listening to its viewpoint on the policy statement made by him in the House.
  • A PkMAP lawmaker pointed out the quorum soon after the walkout of Opposition lawmakers which led to the adjournment of sitting at 1720 hours.
  • The House was adjourned to meet again on August 28, 2018 (Tuesday) at 1100 hours.


  • ‘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 proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted