NA: (88% Agenda Unaddressed on Private Members’ Day)

ISLAMABAD: Only three items appearing on the Orders of the Day were taken up during the private members’ day as the National Assembly left almost 88% agenda unaddressed on Tuesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.

The seventh sitting of the ongoing 24th session started an hour and 25 minutes behind the schedule at 1155 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours and lasted 3 hours and 19 minutes. Eighty-six (25%) members were present at the outset whereas 66 (19%) lawmakers were present at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 188 (55%) lawmakers were present at one point of the sitting.

Speaker presided the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was not found to be present. In addition, 38% of the sitting’s time was consumed in prayer break and discussion regarding motions under rule 44 in Speaker’s Chamber.

The lawmakers raised 19 Points of Order that consumed 90 minutes (45%) of the sitting. The House took up a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) regarding non-payment of cash awards to the students from classes V to VIII who qualified for scholarships in 2013-14 as announced by the Federal Directorate of Education, Islamabad. Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development (CAD) Division, Usman Ibrahim, responded to this CAN.

Two motions under rule 44 – one each sponsored by MQM and JUI-F – to deseat the PTI members under Clause (2) of the Article 64 of the Constitution were taken up and deferred till Thursday after a prolonged discussion in Speaker’s Chamber for around an hour.

The PTI members remained absent without seeking prior approval for leave from the assembly for more than 40 consecutive days of its sittings. All other agenda items, including a CAN, an amendment in Rules of Procedure, three reports of the Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges, five motions under rule 259, six resolutions and as many bills that appeared on the Orders of the Day, were not taken up by the House.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a PTI member, announced that his party’s lawmakers will not attend the sitting till the House reaches a decision on motions under rule 44 moved to deseat them. He, along with his fellow party-men left the House at 1335 hours and did not return back till the time of adjournment.