ISLAMABAD, February 12, 2015: The National Assembly left its entire agenda unaddressed as points of order (POs) consumed 60% of the sitting on Thursday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The agenda included two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding the “dubious” bidding process for the contract of Muzaffarabad-Pir Chinasi road and visa free entry for Afghan nationals in Pakistan (and vice versa).
It also included two motions to debate the recent petrol crisis and problems being faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) besides the presentation of the fiscal policy statement and debt policy statement for the year 2014-15.
Fifty lawmakers (15%) were present at the start of the sitting and 54 (16%) at the time of adjournment. The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 29 minutes. The following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 55 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1124 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting, while the Deputy Speaker was absent.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 29 minutes.
- Fifty members (15%) were present at the start and 54 (16%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 128 members (37%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of MQM, JI, APML, ANP, QWP and AMLP attended the sitting.
- Six minority members were present.
- Fourteen lawmakers applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Ten out of 36 starred questions appearing on Orders of the Day were taken up and responded by the relevant ministries/departments. In addition, the MNAs raised 13 supplementary questions during the sitting.
- Two CANs regarding the “dubious” bidding process for the contract of Muzaffarabad-Pir Chinasi road and visa free entry for Afghan nationals in Pakistan (and vice versa) were left unaddressed.
- Similarly, two motions under Rule 259 to debate the recent petrol crisis and problems being faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) were also not taken up.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eleven points of order consumed 105 minutes (60%) of the sitting.
- Opposition members along with MQM, PkMAP and the parliamentary leader of QWP announced to boycott the sitting at 1419 hours, following which the Chair announced the sitting’s adjournment till Friday.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and in no way reflect the views of the European Union. This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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