Senate Discusses Visit of US Foreign Secretary to South Asia

ISLAMABAD, October 31, 2017: The Senate on Tuesday debated recent visit of the US Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to South Asia in the wake of new US policy, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.

Following are key observations of the House proceedings during seventh sitting of the 269th session:

Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for four hours and 14 minutes while the proceedings remained suspended for 17 minutes due to prayer break.
  • The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Chairman presided over the sitting for two hours and 49 minutes while rests of the proceedings were chaired by the Deputy Chairman.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for two hours and 14 minutes.
  • The Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, PPPP, BNP-M, PTI, MQM, PML-N and PML-F  attended the sitting.
  • As many as 11 (10% of the total membership – 104) lawmakers were present at the start and 13 (12%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
  • Two minority legislators also attended the proceedings.


  • Chairman Senate Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges presented reports on two matters referred to it. These matters were regarding provision of incorrect information in reply to starred questions related to Aero Medical Department and National Bank of Pakistan.
  • On behalf of Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior, a member of the Committee presented report on the Prevention of Witchcraft Bill, 2017, the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House debated recent visit of the US Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to South Asia in the wake of new US policy. Thirteen lawmakers participated in the discussion and spoke for an hour and 44 minutes.
  • Fourteen out of 59 Starred Questions were taken up for answers during the proceedings. In addition, lawmakers asked 32 supplementary questions.
  • The House took up a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) which was regarding purchase of sub-standard horticulture machinery and equipment by the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) in violation of PEPRA Rules. It was responded to by State Minister of Interior.
  • Another CAN about migration of 70,000 people of Hazara Community of Balochistan to foreign countries was dropped due the absence of its movers.
  • Minister for Law and Justice  moved a motion under Rule 157 (2) to discuss the Annual Report for the year 2016-2017 of the Central Board of Directors of the State Bank of Pakistan on the state of the Economy. An Independent lawmaker spoke on it for 12 minutes.
  • Tabled by the Leader of the House, the House passed a motion under Rule 204 authorizing the Chairman Senate to appoint a Special Committee to examine the overall working of Sports Federations in the country.
  •  The Chair admitted an adjournment motion for debate which was regarding non-profitability of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with China.
  •  Four lawmakers raised as many Points of Public Importance consuming eight minutes of the proceedings.

Order and Institutionalization

  • A PPPP lawmaker walked out of the House for two minutes over unsatisfactory reply by State Minister for Interior to her question.
  • Entire Opposition also walked out of the House for two minutes over unsatisfactory reply to a question again by State Minister for Interior related to National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).


  • ‘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 Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted