ISLAMABAD, April 21, 2014: The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution on Monday condemning the attack on senior journalist and seeking protection of journalists during the sixth sitting of its 103rd session, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
The journalists covering the Senate proceedings boycotted the sitting. The Chair suspended the routine agenda and directed the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition to approach journalists and sort out the issue.
The suspended agenda included discussion on two commenced motions, six motions under Rule 218, five resolutions, amendments in rules 184 and 198 and laying of Pakistan Vision 2025 and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report.
Tabled by PPPP female lawmaker, the House unanimously adopted a resolution demanding of the federal government to ensure safety of the journalists as well as the media houses. Sixteen lawmakers participated in the debate that continued for 92 minutes, including Prime Ministers Zero Hour.
Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs presented report of the Committee on Public Hearing on future of SAARC in the context of Pakistan-India relations.
MQM and JUI-F lawmakers walked out from the House against non-inclusion of their members in the Committee constituted for suggesting steps for protection of journalist community. However, the Chair gave ruling to give representation to each political party in the committee.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for an hour and fifty seven minutes.
- The sitting started at 1657 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours witnessing a delay of 57 minutes.
- The Deputy Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- Twenty-two senators were present at the outset, 31 at adjournment while a maximum of 41 at one point during the proceedings.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, PML-F, ANP, JUI-F and PML-N attended the sitting.
- One minority member attended the sitting.
- Eight members applied for leave.
- The Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
- Tabled by female lawmaker of PPPP, the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution, condemning the armed attack on senior journalist and demanded to ensure protection of journalist community as well media houses.
- Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs presented report of the Committee on Public Hearing on future of SAARC in the context of Pakistan-India relations.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Sixteen lawmakers- PPPP (3), two each of ANP , PML, JUI-F, MQM and one each of PML-N, BNP-A, PkMAP, PML-F and an Independent Senator- participated in the debate that continued for 92 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- MQM and JUI-F walked out from the House for non-inclusion of their members in the Committee constituted for suggesting steps for protection of journalists’ community. Later, the Chair gave ruling to give representation to each political party in the committee.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on senators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization; a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions excepted.
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