Senate Fails to Take up Constitutional Amendment Bill due to Low Attendance

ISLAMABAD, November 20, 2017: The Senate on Monday did not consider the constitutional amendment regarding reallocation of the National Assembly’s seats among federating units due to low attendance of lawmakers, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet

Following are key observations of the proceedings of second sitting of 270th session:

Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for three hours and 26 minutes while the proceedings remained suspended for 43 minutes due to prayers break.
  • The sitting started at 1505 hours against its scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Chairman presided over the entire sitting
  • The Deputy Chairman was not present.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for an hour 53 minutes.
  • The Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for an hour and 13 minutes.
  • The parliamentary leaders of MQM, ANP, PPPP, PkMAP, JUI-F, BNP-M and NP attended the sitting.
  • As many as 14 lawmakers (13% of the total membership- 104) were present at the outset and 13 (12%) at the end of sitting.
  • Two minority Senators attended the sitting.


  • The Chair deferred the consideration and the passage of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 till Wednesday on request of the Leader of the House. The amendment seeks to reallocate the National Assembly seats among federating units.
  • The House passed the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017 while the Prevention of Witchcraft Bill, 2017 was referred to the Select Committee.
  • The  Chair deferred the West Pakistan Pure Food (Amendment) Bill, 2017 on the request of absent lawmaker. .
  • The Chair informed the House that the reports on two bills seeking Amendment in Article 63A of the Constitution had been received back from the Standing Committees and were awaiting notices under Rule 100 for their consideration in the House.
  • The House adopted three resolutions to ensure safety and security of all educational, religious and other public places in Islamabad, strengthen Police and other security institutions in the Federal Capital and establish a Research Institute (Think Tank) to give its input to the Government on different national and international issues.
  • Four other resolutions to establish the Pakistan Maritime Authority, encourage manufacturing of Solar Cells, set up branch of National Bank of Pakistan at Mangla Mela of Tehsil Domail in District Bannu and make foolproof security arrangements for the pilgrims going to Iran by road were deferred.
  • The half yearly report of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in respect of its activities was not presented.
  •  Chairman, Standing Committee on Interior presented reports of the Committee on the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • Chairman, Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination presented report on the Calling Attention Notice to grant equivalence certificates to O and A level students by the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC).
  • On behalf of Chairperson Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, a member of the Committee presented report on a starred question pertaining to number of Pakistani chairs in foreign universities lying vacant for the last many years.
  • Convener Special Committee on Marginalized Segments of Society presented 7th interim report on Marginalized Segments of Society.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House concluded debate on a motion under Rule 218 to formulate a strategy for desalinating the sea water for industrial and domestic consumption.Fifteen lawmakers spoke on it for 41 minutes while Minister for Water Resources winded up debate on it during his four minutes speech.
  • Five lawmakers debated a motion for 13 minutes to control the increasing smuggling of spurious medicines. Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training concluded debate and spoke for two minutes.
  • A lawmaker debated a motion for four minutes which was regarding narcotics policy of the government. Minister for Narcotics Control concluded debate during his eight minutes speech.
  • Two motions were deferred on the request of absent lawmaker which were regarding  issues in industrial sector’s making it unviable and performance of IPPs with particular reference to wind and solar plants.
  • A motion regarding economic policies of the Government was dropped due to absence of relevant lawmaker.
  • A lawmaker discussed division of power among state institutions for four minutes.
  • Nine lawmakers spoke on as many Points of Public Importance consuming 26 minutes of the proceedings.
  • State Ministers for Petroleum and Interior responded to two points of public importance While response on a Point was deferred on request of relevant minister.
  • The House passed three motions under Rule 194 (1) to grant extension of 30-days each to Standing Committee of Interior for presentation of its reports on three issues related to law and order.

Order and Institutionalization 

  • The lawmakers did not raise any point of order.


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