The Senate that is more of a war-zone


A Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) preliminary report said on Saturday that protests and walkouts by the opposition parties and the coalition partners over petroleum prices along with low attendance of senators marked the Senate’s 85th session.
According to the report, the session lasted 14 hours and 13 minutes for five sittings from 3-7 September. On average meeting took two hours and 51 minutes per sitting and each sitting started with an average delay of 40 minutes.
Protests and walkouts left 52 percent of the agenda items un-addressed.
The government allies staged walkouts during the second, third and fifth sittings. Awami National Party (ANP) walked out of the House over the increase in the prices of petroleum products, the issuance of Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012 and over unsatisfactory responses to the questions during the question hour of the third sitting. During the same sitting, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML), along with Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) senators also walked out due to the same reasons.
The main opposition, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), staged walkouts over the increase in the prices of petroleum products and the deteriorating law and order situation in the country.
The Balochistan National Party (BNPA) and independents from Balochistan walked out of the fourth sitting as the House did not carry out a debate regarding the law and order situation in Balochistan. Since the Senate Secretariat did not make the attendance record public, FAFEN conducted a headcount of members at the beginning and end of each sitting and documented the actual time spent on the floor of the House by the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition.ibly lacking at various stages of the session, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.