House of Federation Discusses Disappearance of Rights Activists, Torture of Child Maid
ISLAMABAD, January 9, 2017: The Senate on Monday discussed recent disappearance of four rights activists and alleged torture of 10-year-old child maid Tayyaba in Islamabad, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Eighteen lawmakers and Senate Chairman spoke on the subject for an hour and 34 minutes.
The Chair asked the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense to submit reply until coming Wednesday on the appointment of former Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif as chief of Islamic military alliance and its overall impact on foreign policy.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during first sitting of Senate’s 258th session:
- The Senate met for four hours and 20 minutes.
- The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The House took prayer break of 19 minutes.
- The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Chairman and Prime Minister were not present.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting.
- The Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours and 21 minutes.
- Parliamentary leaders of all political parties in the House except BNP-M, PML and BNP-A attended the sitting.
- Twenty-four (23% of the total membership – 104) lawmakers were present at the start and 26 (25%) at the end of sitting.
- Three minority legislators attended the proceedings.
- The House adopted three resolutions for effective steps to alleviate poverty; verification of domicile certificates of the persons belonging to Balochistan and working in various Ministries / Divisions and Federal Government Department and legislation to provide for preferential treatment to the women engaged in business and trade related activities.
- Two resolutions about steps to control price hike and measures to stop incidents of forced conversion of Hindus to Islam were dropped due to absence of their mover.
- The House witnessed introduction of two bills including the transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 and the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Both bills were forwarded to the relevant committee for further deliberation.
- Three private members’ bills were passed by the House including the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2015; the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
- The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of Article 203F) were deferred on the request of mover.
- Another bill – the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016 – was dropped as the similar bill has already been introduced by the government.
- A report of the Joint Committees including the Functional Committee on Devolution Process and Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination was presented in the House. It was regarding establishment of permanent Secretariat of the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
- Chairman, Standing Committee on Law and Justice presented report regarding review of section 25 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 which deals with voluntary return and plea bargain.
- Chairman, Standing Committee on Commerce presented report on a Starred Question regarding import of huge quantity of powdered milk.
- On behalf of the Chairman, Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, an Independent lawmaker presented special report on the problems being faced by the Oil Sector and Industry in Pakistan.
Representation and Responsiveness
- As per decision of the Business Advisory Committee, the House discussed the disappearance of four rights activists during last week and alleged torture of 10-year-old child maid Tayyaba at the House of Additional Session Judge Islamabad. Eighteen lawmakers and Chairman Senate participated in debate for an hour and 34 minutes.
- The House concluded debate on a commenced motion under Rule 218 which was about constant lowering of water table in the country. Fourteen lawmakers including Minister for Water and Power spoke on it for an hour.
- A motion about Indian violations of the Line of Control (LOC) and ceasefire on the working boundary was deferred.
- The House debated a motion about current political situation in the country while three other motions under Rule 218 were dropped due to absence of their movers. These motions were about controlling supply of unhygienic food by the hotels in Islamabad; security situation in Islamabad with particular reference to crimes detected through installation of CCTV cameras and gap between demand and supply of electricity to Balochistan.
Order and Institutionalization
- One Point of Public Importance was discussed for seven minutes.
- ‘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
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