ISLAMABAD, January 13, 2014: The Senate debated yesterday’s terrorist attacks in KP as the House took up more than two-third private members’ agenda on the Orders of the Day of the 5th sitting of the Senate 100th session, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the Senate.
On the request of an ANP senator the Chair allowed lawmakers to speak about law and order in KP especially yesterday’s terrorist attacks on ANP and PML-N leaders, resulting in the killing of the former. Thirteen lawmakers shared their views in the 66-minute debate that took place on points of order.
A JUI-F lawmaker led the House in a fatiha prayer for those killed in the terrorist attacks and for the father of a PML-N lawmaker who has recently passed away.
Although the agenda on the Orders of the Day of the private members’ sitting was heavily set the House took up more than 66% of it. The proceedings witnessed the introduction of three bills, took up two resolutions for debate along with four Motions under Rule 218.
Low attendance was observed as only ten senators were present at the outset, 16 at the adjournment and a maximum 29 at a point during the proceedings. However, both the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
A PPPP lawmaker moved a privilege motion against disallowing Senate to debate the privatization of PIA. The motion was not sent to the privileges committee as the arguments of the mover of the motion will be heard in a later sitting.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and 18 minutes. The House observed a 30-minute break for prayer.
- The sitting started at 1551 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours, witnessing a delay of 51 minutes.
- The Chairman presided over the sitting for an hour and 35 minutes while the Deputy Chairman chaired the remaining proceedings (minus the break).
- Ten senators were present at the outset, 16 at the adjournment and a maximum 29 at a point during the proceedings.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML-N, ANP, JUI-F and BNP-A were present. The members belonging to PML-F and PkMAP – single member parties – also attended the sitting.
- Two minority senators attended the sitting.
- Six of the members applied for leave.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
- Three bills: the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2013; the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and the Privatization Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2013 were introduced and sent to the relevant standing committees. All three bills were introduced by a female PPPP lawmaker.
- Five Senators debated a PPPP sponsored commenced resolution for 11 minutes urging the government to publish the names of judges of the superior judiciary possessing dual nationality.
- The House took up a resolution for debate in the next session calling upon the government to include all water disputes of Pakistan with India in the composite dialogue or in any other talks or dialogue process that is revived or initiated with India.
Representation and Responsiveness
- A PPPP sponsored Motion under Rule 218, to discuss the working and recent pronouncements of the Council of Islamic Ideology, was taken up for discussion in a later meeting of the House.
- Six Senators shared their views on the alleged irregularities in Elections 2013 on a motion (under rule 218) moved by a PPPP senator. Two lawmakers each of PPPP, ANP and a PML-N and independent member spoke in the debate that lasted an hour and three minutes.
- The House took up two motions (under rule 218), for debate in a latter sitting, on need of a Ministry of Capital Administration and Development, and responsibility of the federation in pursuance of Article 148 of the Constitution. The earlier is a PPPP and the latter a PML-N sponsored motion.
- A PPPP lawmaker moved a privilege motion against disallowing Senate to debate the privatization of PIA and also dealing with the said privatization without taking Council of Common Interest on board. The motion was not sent to the privileges committee as the arguments of the mover on his motion will be heard in a latter sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- 13 points of order (POs) were raised on the law and order situation in KP consuming 66 minutes of the sitting. Three lawmakers each of ANP, PPPP; two each of PkMAP, PML-N and a single member each of PML-F and JUI-F shared their views while speaking on POs.
- No protest, boycott or walkout was recorded during the sitting.
- Orders of the Day were 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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