ISLAMABAD, January 21, 2015: The Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution against blasphemous caricatures published by a French magazine during the first sitting of its 18th session on Wednesday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The resolution demanded the Organization of Islamic Conference, European Union and United Nations to take stern action against such publications that promote hatred and incite violence.
The House also took an adjournment motion on the same issue which was debated by the 20 lawmakers for two hours.
MQM members protested the killing of their party workers within the House and also staged a walkout for seven minutes. In addition, PML-F lawmakers also walked out for 20 minutes over an unsatisfactory response to a question regarding violation in payments to sugarcane growers according to government rates.
Low attendance prevailed as only 35 members (21%) were present at the start and 59 (35%) at the end of the sitting. The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 58 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for four hours and 38 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1048 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The House took a three-minute break for prayer call.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for an hour and 50 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for two hours and 22 minutes. The remaining time was presided over by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 58 minutes.
- Thirty-five members (21%) were present at the start and 59 (35%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 88 members (52%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML-F and MQM attended the sitting.
- Four minority members were present during the sitting.
- None of the member applied for leave.
- The House unanimously adopted a resolution against blasphemous caricatures published by a French magazine. The resolution was tabled jointly by lawmakers of PPPP, MQM and PML-N,
Representation and Responsiveness
- Nine out of 10 starred questions appearing on Orders of the Day were taken up and responded by the relevant ministry. In addition, 29 supplementary questions were raised by the MPAs.
- A PPPP member tabled an adjournment motion against the blasphemous caricatures published by a French magazine. The motion was debated by the 20 lawmakers – PPPP (11), MQM (six), PML-N (two) and PML-F (one) – for two hours.
- The House did not take up five calling attention notices (CANs) on Orders of the Day.
Order and Institutionalization
- Members spoke on five points of orders which consumed 15 minutes of the proceedings.
- MQM members protested the killing of their party workers within the House and staged a walkout for seven minutes.
- PML-F lawmakers also walked out 20 minutes over an unsatisfactory response to a question regarding violation in payments to sugarcane growers according to government rates.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the members, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was available to the observers and the public.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the members.
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The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Sindh Assembly proceedings conducted by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) – a member organization of FAFEN.
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