ISLAMABAD, October 16, 2012: Starting 45 minutes behind schedule, the seventh sitting of the ongoing 86th session met for two hours and 30 minutes on Tuesday. Members debated the aftermath of floods in Balochistan.
The sitting was marked by low attendance of Senators as only seven were present at the outset and 13 were there at the adjournment time.
Seven Senators – two of the PMLN and one each of NP, JUI, BNPA, PML and PPPP – spoke on the Adjournment Motion about the Balochistan floods for an hour and 12 minutes.
There were two instances of walkouts. During the first, PMLN and ANP Members walked out to protest the absence of Ministers during the Question Hour. The walkout lasted 15 minutes. The other was by MQM Members over tariff increase of international calls which lasted for 10 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and 30 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1045 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started late by 45 minutes.
- The Deputy Chairman chaired the sitting. The Chairman was not present.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
- Only the parliamentary leaders of MQM, NP and ANP attended the sitting.
- Only seven Senators (7% of total Membership) were present at the outset, while 13 (13%) were present when the sitting was adjourned.
- Two Minority Senators were present.
- Two Senators had applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- A Motion under Rule 218 about the law and order in the country with particular reference to target killings and sectarian violence in Balochistan, Karachi and Gilgit-Baltistan was not taken up by the House.
- Six out of 10 questions appearing on the Agenda were taken up by the House. Additionally nine supplementary questions were also asked.
- An Adjournment Motion on the aftermath of floods in Balochistan was debated for an hour and 12 minutes.
- No bill appeared on the Orders of the Day.
Order and Institutionalization
- There were two instances of walkouts. During the first, PMLN and ANP Members walked out to protest the absence of Ministers during the Question Hour. The walkout lasted 15 minutes.
- The other was by MQM Members over tariff increase of international calls which lasted for 10 minutes.
- Eight Points of Order were raised which consumed 20 minutes of the sitting time.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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