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> MNAs Attendance Record should be made Public: Citizens Forum Demands
PILDAT Citizens Forum
March 29, 2013


March 29; Attendance record of MNAs must be made public, demanded participants of the Citizens Forum today. Participants supported PILDAT’s invoking of Freedom of Information Act to receive MNAs Attendance Record otherwise denied by National Assembly secretariat.[1] Participants demanded that the information is public’s right especially ahead of upcoming General Election.


These views were shared at a Citizens Forum organized by PILDAT to share and gauge performance of the 5 years of the 13th National Assembly of Pakistan. PILDAT also launched a Citizen Report on 5 Years of the 13th National Assembly, covering period from March 17, 2008 to March 16, 2013, at the Citizens Forum today.


The Citizens Forum was chaired by Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Sahmi, Editor in Chief Daily Pakistan, who shared that improvements have been seen in the performance of outgoing National Assembly as compared to the previous Assembly.


Discussion the performance of the 5 years of the 13th National Assembly at forum, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT, shared positive trends during the 5 years of the 13th National Assembly as well as looked at areas of concerns.


He said that the 13th National Assembly held 50 sessions, met for 666 days and spent 1345 hours to debate on concerned national and international issues in 5 years. Taking a significant edge over 12th National Assembly, which passed only 50 bills in its term of five years (2002-2007), the 13th National Assembly passed 139 bills, added Mr. Mehboob. Comparing private members bills between the 12th and 13th National assembly, Mr. Mehboob shared that the 13th National Assembly passed 19 Private Members Bills in 5 years, an 1800 % increase in comparison to 12th National Assembly of Pakistan, which had passed only 1 Private Member Bill in 5 years.


While sharing a detailed analysis on the positive trends, Mr. Mehboob said that Standing Committees chairpersonship on party representation and PAC Chairpersonship to Opposition, Passage of 18th, 19th and 20th Constitutional Amendments, granting of powers, though belatedly, to Committees to review Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and greater access through NA improved websites remained major achievements of the 13th National Assembly.


Sharing the account of trends in which the National Assembly has not been able to adequately play its due role, Mr. Mehboob said that the lingering areas of concern which have negatively impacted on the 13th National Assembly included no workable recommendations on terrorism, law & order, Balochistan, Karachi, FATA, Sectarianism; failure to set-up a consensus-based Accountability Commission; weak oversight of economy & governance; not making experience & aptitude as criteria for committee chairs & members ; no trail-blazing legacy of Speaker; non-provision of offices and staff for MNAs and Committees; not making MNAs Attendance a ‘public record’; non-prescription of time limit for reports by Committees; need for reforms in system of Questions; televising Question Hour on all channels; no Question Hour for Prime Minister and weak procedure for recruitment & promotion.


The Citizens Forum was attended by a large number of experts, professionals, civil society representatives, media, academia and political party representatives. Based on performance analysis of the National Assembly, participants also filled out Score Cards, a compilation of which will be published by PILDAT in the shape of a Citizens Score Card on 5 Years of 13th National Assembly of Pakistan.

PILDAT received financial support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-FES, Islamabad for printing the Citizens Report and holding the Citizens Forum on 5 Years of the 13th National Assembly of Pakistan.



1. PILDAT moves Ombudsman for MNAs Attendance Data; invokes Freedom of Information law after Assembly refuses data: