Senate passes a bill, adopts two resolutions

ISLAMABAD, December 16, 2013: Amidst low attendance, the Senate passed a bill and adopted two resolutions in the 9th sitting of its 99th session, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the House.

The Upper House of the Parliament passed The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2013 moved by an ANP senator. The Senate also adopted two resolutions sponsored one each by MQM and PPPP senators.

Meanwhile, the House also continued its debate on foreign policy with particular reference to the visit of the Prime Minister to the United States, the repercussions of the expected reduction of forces in Afghanistan by the US/ISAF in 2014, offer of talks with Taliban, drone attacks and NATO supply.

Moreover, a Motion under Rule 218 regarding non-shifting of headquarters of the State Bank of Pakistan from Karachi to Islamabad was admitted for discussion while four other motions under this rule were deferred for next private members’ day.

Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings

  • The Senate met for two hours and 41minutes.
  • The sitting started at 1609 hours against the scheduled time of 1530 hours, witnessing a delay of 39 minutes.
  • The Chairman presided over the entire sitting. The Deputy Chairman was not present.
  • Both the Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition were present during the sitting.
  • Ten senators were present at the outset, 22 were there at the end of the proceedings, while maximum attendance of 32 was recorded at a point of time during the sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of PML-N, PPPP, MQM and ANP attended the sitting.
  • Three minority senators attended the proceedings.
  • Five lawmakers applied for leave.

Output

  • The House passed The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2013 moved by ANP senator.
  • Eight members debated a resolution regarding construction of new dams in the country for 26 minutes leading to its adoption by the House. The resolution was moved by MQM senator. The House also adopted a resolution by PPPP senator expressing grave concern over increasing incidents of rape in the country, particularly of minor girls, condemning the recent incident of rape of a minor girl in Lahore, calling upon civil society, Ulema, intellectuals and media to launch a social campaign against the perpetrators and urging
  • The federal and provincial governments to amend the law to provide severe punishment to those found guilty.
  • Five members spoke for 42 minutes on a resolution moved by another PPPP Senator recommending the government to publish the names of those judges of the superior judiciary who have dual nationality. The resolution was deferred for a later sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • Three members spoke for 47 minutes on a motion under rule 218 regarding foreign policy taken up for debate in an earlier sitting of the ongoing session.
  • The Chair also admitted a motion for discussion on the situation arising out of non-shifting of headquarters of the State Bank of Pakistan from Karachi to Islamabad. The motion was sponsored by ANP Senator.
  • Four other motions were deferred for a later sitting.

Order and Institutionalization

  • None of the Senators raised any Point of Order.
  • There were no instances of boycott/walkout/protest during the sitting. 

Transparency

  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
  • Information on senators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.  

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization; a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions excepted