ISLAMABAD -  Major parliamentary political parties, acting against their party manifestos’, rarely bothered to engage in Parliamentary affairs as many lawmakers from across the aisle preferred to focus on other matters.

These MNAs, though claim to champion the rights of their constituency’s voters, are hardly found raising their voice in the parliament.

The participation, in rest of the parliamentary business including legislation, at times seems not their business owing to lack of interest.

The treasury side in parliamentary setup is mainly considered responsible for running proceedings of the parliament but their non-attendance clearly reflects their lack of interest in the house.

The opposition parties’ legislators are equally important in parliament but their non-attendance and non-participation is fast becoming a matter of grave concern.

Absence of major political parties’ lawmakers from the lower house of parliament reveals that on average half of them stay away for the proceedings.

The ruling PML-N, having two-third majority in the house, with its 188 MNAs had shown lack of interest in the house.  The average participation was counted at 116 and average absence 72, the figures compiled by an NGO, Fafen reveal.

The PPP, the major opposition party, with 47 MNAs are not behind the ruling party as average absence was 20 throughout the 47th session.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has 32 MNAs in the National Assembly but average 12 lawmakers remained absent from proceedings.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the third biggest opposition party. Its lawmakers were once considered as the most regular participants in parliament.

On average 13 MNAs of the MQM out of 23 remained absent throughout the session.

The lawmakers of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), the main partner of the PML-N, were most regular in the house.

Out of 13 MNAs only three on average remained absent. The PML-F has five MNAs in the house and on average four remained absent from the parliament.

Half of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) MNAs did not participate in the house proceedings.

Out of 10 independent MNAs on average only five remained present in the house.

A new practice was noticed during the proceedings. The opposition parties took advantage of government lawmakers’ absence from the house.

The opposition whenever like to suspend the house proceedings pointed out lack of quorum, which most of the time led to suspension of the proceedings.

Interestingly, some ministers were often seen calling their party colleagues to at least sit in the house to ensure the required strength of 86 MNAs.

According to the available figures, the opposition parties almost in every sitting pointed out quorum to embarrass the ruling party, which enjoys 2/3 majority.

According to the break of MNAs at the ‘outset and end of proceedings ‘show that the average 80 MNAs (less than required quorum 86) were found in the house. In the first sitting of the 47th session, the figure reveal, 99 lawmakers were present at the outset and 251 at the end.

Around 48 MNAs were present at the onset of second day of 47th session and hardly 50 were present at the end.  On the third day of the session, only 94 MNAs were in the house at the end and 42 were at the beginning.

The average participation at the end and onset was almost same on all days.

The maximum participation in 342-member house was only 255 MNAs from both sides of the aisle.

Political pundits say that many lawmakers do not take interest in the legislative business as they often engage in chit-chat ignoring the proceedings.

The opposition side during the session had also expressed doubts that the resolutions passed in the house will be implemented in letter and spirit.

Opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah sought from government a report on implementation of resolutions passed in the National Assembly during the current tenure of the government.

The opposition side has time and again raised concerns that the resolutions passed in the house are not properly implemented.

The parliament has passed resolutions regarding drone attacks on Pakistan’s oil, rights for Balochistan, the National Action Plan (NAP) and others.

The MNAs had recently adopted a resolution against the atrocities committed against Rohingyas, calling upon the international community to urge the government of Myanmar to ensure protection of the rights of the Muslims.

The legislators from both sides of the aisle, after passing the resolution, had raised voice for setting up a special fund for the assistance of the oppressed community but this claim has yet to materialise.

Political gurus say that the lawmakers often claim that the parliament is not a ‘debating club’ but lack of interest on the part of lawmakers in the house is also alarming.  The absence from the house, chit-chat during the proceedings, lack of interest in legislative business is totally against their claims and the promises they have made with their voters.