General

National Assembly: Anti-terrorism amendment Bill deferred after criticism

Islamabad, February 03, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was deferred due to severe criticism of the opposition benches during sixth sitting of its 8th session on Monday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the proceedings.

Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control introduced the bill to amend the Anti -terrorism Act, 1997 (Ordinance no. VIII of 2013) after submission of report by the relevant Standing Committee in the Lower House.

Twenty-one legislators participated in the debate. It was deferred on the request of Interior Minister as severe criticism was made by the opposition members. The bill is likely to be re-introduced in any of the next sittings.

The House took up two calling attention notices (CAN). The first CAN was relating to increase in the prices of drugs by the pharmaceutical companies on their own and the other was regarding non-development of sector E-12, Islamabad by the CDA, despite the lapse of twenty-six years.

PPPP legislator submitted a privilege motion regarding alleged misbehaviour of ASF’s official with him at Mohenjo Daro Airport. A total of 89 members were present at the outset while 36 were there at the adjournment of sitting.

The Prime Minister did not attend the session while the Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours and 50 minutes. Parliamentary leaders of PML-F, PkMAP, APML, JI, QWP-S, PML-Z and JUI-F attended the proceedings.

Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:

The National Assembly met for four hours and three minutes.

The sitting started at 1640 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours, witnessing a delay of 40 minutes.

The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.

The House took a prayer break of 28 minutes.

The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours and 50 minutes.

The parliamentary leaders of PML-F, PkMAP, APML, JI, QWP-S, PML-Z and JUI-F were present.

Eighty-nine (89) members were present at the outset while 36 were there at the adjournment. A maximum of 212 members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.

Eight minority members attended the sitting.

Fourteen members applied for leave.

Output

Minister of Interior and Narcotics Control introduced the Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2014 after relevant Standing Committee submitted report on it.

The bill was deferred after debate of 21 legislators for an hour and five minutes.

Representation and Responsiveness

The House took up two calling attention notices (CAN). The first CAN was regarding increase in the prices of drugs by the pharmaceutical companies on their own and the other was regarding non-development of Sector E-12, Islamabad by the CDA, despite the lapse of twenty-six years

Seventeen out of 45 Starred Questions (requiring oral as well written answers) on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, members asked 18 supplementary questions.

PPPP legislator submitted a privilege motion regarding misbehaviour of ASF’s official with him at Mohenjo Daro Airport.

Order and Institutionalization

Legislators spoke on 20 important matters under Rule 18 for forty-three minutes.

There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the sitting.

Transparency

‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.

Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.

For more information, contact:
Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN)
FAFEN Representative
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