Senate Suspends Agenda to Discuss Terror Attacks

ISLAMABAD, September 5, 2016: The Upper House of the Parliament suspended regular agenda on Monday and discussed the recent terror attacks in Quetta and Mardan, reports Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.

The House also adopted a resolution to condemn the terrorist activities in both the cities, resulting in the loss of several precious lives. The lawmakers also prayed for the departed souls.

Following are some key observations of the House business during first sitting of the Senate’s 252nd session:

Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for three hours and 53 minutes.
  • The sitting started at 1511 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Deputy Chairman presided over the sitting for 24 minutes while rest of the proceedings were chaired by a member of Panel of Presiding Officers.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for two hours and 49 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition was present for three hours and seven minutes.
  • The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
  • Parliamentary leaders of NP, JUI-F, PkMAP, BNP-M, PML, MQM, PML-N, PPPP, PML-F, PTI and JI attended the sitting.
  • Thirty-two Senators (31% of the total 104 members) were present at the outset and nine members (8%) at the end of the sitting.
  • Three minority Senators attended the sitting.


  • Tabled by the Leader of the House, the House adopted a resolution to condemn terrorism activities in Quetta and Mardan. Fifteen lawmakers participated in the debate that consumed two hours and 44 minutes of the proceedings.
  • The House did not take up four resolutions on the agenda other than the resolution to condemn the Quetta incident. These resolutions were about placing Pakistan Meteorological Department (MET) under administrative control of the Ministry of Climate Change; controlling price hike in the country; making necessary legislation in provinces to regulate the Mental Health Act and taking up the matter at international forums about Indian support to some separatist elements in Pakistan as claimed by Indian Prime Minister.
  • Nine bills on the agenda also remained unaddressed, which included the Political  Parties Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Police  Order  (Amendment)  Bill, 2016; the Islamabad Prohibition of Sheesha Smoking Bill, 2016; the Pakistan  Penal  Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Insertion of new sections 320A and 337JJ); the  Islamabad  Restriction  on Employment of Children Bill, 2016; the Prohibition  of  Smoking  and  Protection  of  Non-smokers Health (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Islamabad Capital Territory Private  Educational  Institutions  (Registration  and  Regulation)  (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the  Islamabad  Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Pakistan  Penal  Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment in section 364A).
  • A copy of the Money Bill, the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was not presented before the House.
  • Eight reports of various Senate Standing Committees were also not presented.

 Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House did not take up five motions under Rule 218 regarding procedure to utilize foreign loans with the approval of Parliament; problems after closure of Khokhrapar Border with India; promoting knowledge based economy in the country; rotation policy of the Government for PAS/PSP officers and plight of Pakistani labourers in Saudi Arabia.
  • The House did not take up two other motions under Rule 194 (1) and one motion under Rule 196 (1).

Order and Institutionalization 

  • The entire Opposition and Treasury lawmakers, including PkMAP, NP, FATA Senators and a PML-N legislator walked out of the House at 1818 hours against ministerial absence and did not return to the House until the adjournment of the sitting at 1904 hours.
  • A PML-N lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1820 hours following which the Chair ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes. The quorum was found incomplete upon counting at 1826 hours and the Chair suspended the sitting till the completion of quorum. However, the sitting resumed at 1904 hours but it had to be adjourned due to lack of quorum.


  • ‘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