ISLAMABAD, January 21, 2013: Starting 55 minutes late, the 1st sitting of the 90th session of Senate was marked by low attendance as only three senators were present at the outset and 19 were there at the adjournment of the sitting.
The subject of the establishment of governor rule in Baluchistan became the basis for an hour and a half long walkout by a JUIF senator similarly a female lawmaker belonging to BNPA staged a token walkout over the same issue. A JUI senator along with all the senators belonging to FATA staged a walkout on killings in Khyber Agency at the hands of terrorists. A minority senator staged a token walkout over the interior minister’s comparison of the Pope with Dr. TahirulQadri.
Four out of 13 resolutions on the agenda were passed including a condolence resolution for ex-senator QaziHussain Ahmed, carrying out of performance based financial audit of power distribution companies, establishment of an institute for boarding and lodging of children of unknown parentage and the recommendation of the name of Shaheed Bashir Ahmed Bilour by the government for Nobel Peace Prize Award.
Senators raised ten points of orders consuming an hour of the session time.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:â€¯
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- ·The Senate met for two hours and 28 minutes.
- ·The sitting started at 1655 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours, witnessing a delay of 55 minutes. It ended at 1923 hours.
- ·The Chairman chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- ·The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting.
- ·The parliamentary leader of MQM attended the sitting while those of JUI, PML, BNPA, ANP, NP and PMLF were not present.
- ·Only three senators were present at the start while 19 were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 43 senators were observed to be present at one point of sitting.
- ·The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
- ·A 30-minute prayers break was observed.
- ·Two out of four minority senators attended the sitting.
- ·Four senators applied for leave.
- Four resolutions were unanimously passed out of 13 appearing on the agenda.
Order and Institutionalization
- Ten points of order were raised which consumed an hour of the sitting time.
- A privilege motion moved by Senator Idrees Safi regarding torture on his driver by the assistant political agent andTehsildar was referred to the Standing Committee of Rules and Procedures.
- Four walkouts were staged during the sitting.
- Orders of the day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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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