Senate Discusses Reservations over Census Exercise

ISLAMABAD, November 8, 2017: The Senate, on Wednesday, held discussion over the reservations expressed by various quarters on the conduct of recently-held population and houses census in the country, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.

Following are key observations of the proceedings during 13th sitting of the Senate’s 269th session:

Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for four hours and 32 minutes while the proceedings remained suspended for 10 minutes due to a prayer break.
  •  The sitting started at 1506 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Chairman presided over the sitting for three hours and 17 minutes while rest of the proceedings were chaired by a member of Panel of Presiding officers.
  • The Deputy Chairman did not attend the sitting.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for an hour and 20 minutes.
  • The Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and 10 minutes.
  • The parliamentary leaders of BNP-M, PPPP, PTI, PkMAP, MQM, PML, NP, PML-F, ANP and JUI-F attended the sitting.
  • As many as eight (7% of the total membership – 104) lawmakers were present at the start and 12 (11%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
  • Two minority legislators also attended the proceedings.


  • The House adopted the proposed amendments in Rule 100 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012.
  • The Senate approved placement and adoption of amendment in Standing Order No. 2.22 and insertion of new Standing Order Nos. 2.25A and 2.53A.
  • On behalf of Chairman Standing Committee on Law and Justice, a member of the committee presented two reports on as many bills seeking constitutional amendment in Article 63A.
  • The House adopted the report of Special Committee on the issue of problems being faced by the oil sector/ industry in the country.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • As many as six out of 33 Starred Questions were taken up for answers during the proceedings. In addition, the lawmakers raised 20 supplementary questions during the Question Hour.
  • Sixteen lawmakers participated in the debate on an Adjournment Motion regarding reservation on census 2017 for an hour and 42 minutes.
  • The Chair admitted an Adjournment Motion for debate which was about delinking petroleum and gas authority from the provincial oversight.
  • An Adjournment Motion on the Indian Air Force chief’s statement about striking nuclear sites in Pakistan was withdrawn. The mover agreed to move the motion under Rule 218 on the issue.
  • Under Rule 60, the House discussed a Matter of Public Importance on violation of the Abbotabad University of Science and Technology Act as well as statutes made thereunder in order to secure NoC from HEC to operationalize the university. PPPP lawmaker spoke on it for five minutes while the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training responded to it.
  • The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) regarding land mafia’s activities in Islamabad and the admission policy of private medical colleges for 2017-18. Both the CANs were responded to by the State Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination.
  • The House continued discussion on the role of state institutions in the scheme of trichotomy of power. Three lawmakers, including the Opposition Leader, participated in the discussion that consumed 42 minutes of the sitting.
  • Three lawmakers raised as many Points of Public Importance consuming six minutes of the proceedings.

Order and Institutionalization

  • A PPPP female lawmaker walked out of the House for two minutes for not receiving reply to a question raised by her relating to the Ministry of Interior.
  • Two other PPPP lawmakers walked out of the House for one minute when the Chair did not allow them to speak on a Point of Order on a controversial matter.


  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
  • The attendance of lawmakers is available on the Senate website.

This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted