ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was adjourned within minutes and without taking up any agenda item due to lack of quorum for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.
The quorum was pointed out by Riazul Haq of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz soon after the recitation from the Holy Quran and playing of the national anthem. Speaker Asad Qaiser, who had announced opening of the question hour, ordered a head count and adjourned the sitting till Friday morning after finding the house not in order due to lack of quorum, for which the presence of 86 members (one-fourth of the total house strength) is required.
On Monday, Agha Rafiullah of the Pakistan Peoples Party had pointed out lack of quorum in protest against the absence of the ministers from the house whereas on Tuesday, the quorum had been pointed out by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement when the chair did not give floor to one of the party lawmakers to speak on the issue of the problems being faced by the people of Karachi.
The quorum has become a chronic problem with the National Assembly as according to a report of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, 24 out of the 79 total sittings were adjourned due to lack of quorum during the third parliamentary year ended in August last year.
Interestingly, the assembly record shows that the members do come to the Parliament House, but only to mark their attendance.
Meanwhile, in a written reply to a question, the house was informed that the latest data from Global Burden of Disease Study showed that there were over 8.9 million diabetic patients in Pakistan in 2019.
Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022