Senate Passes Zainab Alert Bill, Pays Tribute to Women in Nation Building

  • Session Prorogued

ISLAMABAD, March 4, 2020:  The Senate passed the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill, 2020 and referred two other government bills to the relevant Standing Committees, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Wednesday.

Following are key observations of the proceedings of the second sitting of 297th session:

 Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for five hours and nine minutes; however, the proceedings remained suspended for 12 minutes due to prayer break.
  • The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
  • The Deputy Chairman did not attend the sitting.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for two hours and 59 minutes while the Opposition Leader was present for three hours and six minutes.
  • Parliamentary leaders of JI, PPPP, PML-N, BNP-M, PML-F, PkMAP, MQM and PTI attended the sitting.
  • Twelve members (11% of the total membership – 104) were present at the outset and 15 (14 %) at the end of sitting.
  • Three minority lawmakers attended the sitting.


  • Tabled by a PTI lawmaker in connection with International Women’s Day on March 8, the House adopted a resolution to pay tribute to Pakistani women in politics and nation building.
  • The House passed the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill, 2020 as reported by the Standing Committee. Earlier, the bill was moved by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and the House passed a motion to suspend rules for its immediate consideration. Eleven lawmakers also spoke in it for 25 minutes.
  • Introduced by Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, the House passed the University of Islamabad Bill, 2020. Four lawmakers including the relevant minister spoke on it for seven minutes.
  • Minister for Parliamentary Affairs introduced the Medical Tribunal Bill, 2019 and the Pakistan Medical Commission Bill, 2019. The Chair referred both bills to Standing Committees on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination and Law and Justice.
  • A copy of the Money Bill – the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 – was laid in the House seeking recommendations of the Senator on it.
  • Chairman Standing Committee on Law and Justice presented report of the Committee on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (Amendment of Article 27) and the Ratification of Foreign Agreements by Parliament Bill, 2018.
  • On behalf of the Chairperson Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, a member of the Committee presented report on the Unani, Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic Practitioners (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
  • The House passed five motions under Rule 194 (1) granting extension of 60 days to Standing Committee on Law and Justice for presentation of reports on four legislative proposals and a point of public importance. Similarly, another motion was passed to grant 60-day extension to the Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination for presentation of report about poor performance of Pakistani teams in sports.

 Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House took up three out of 14 starred questions while lawmakers asked six supplementary questions. Three questions were also referred to the relevant committees.
  • Eight lawmakers spoke about report of omitting oath regarding Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (Finality of Prophethood PBUH) from Hajj application form. Minister for Religious Affairs also gave a statement on this issue for 18 minutes.
  • Fourteen lawmakers including Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs spoke on points of public importance for an hour and 33 minutes.
  • Minister of State for Parliamentary affairs informed the House about talks with media persons after their walkout from the press gallery. He spoke for two minutes about it.
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs gave a statement for 41 minutes about stance of Pakistan on U.S- Taliban Peace Deal. Later, a PML-N lawmaker spoke on it for five minutes.

 Order and Institutionalization 

  • The Session was prorogued sine die.


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