ISLAMABAD - While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday restrained himself to the National Assembly sitting, the joint opposition in the Senate continued its boycott demanding PM come to the upper house over the Panama leaks.

When the house had consumed around 18 minutes of its proceedings on a private members' day, the opposition boycotted over the absence of PM, saying that the premier should have also come in the house like he was coming in the national assembly.

Leader of Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan said that they had heard about the presence of PM in the Parliament House and being the leader of the house in the Senate, he should have come and answer the allegations," he said and led the boycott.

Earlier in it 26-minute session, the house adopted the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) (Amendment) Bill, 2016 with the majority of vote of the opposition benches as the government opposed the bill.  The draft bill got 23 votes in favour and 15 in opposition was referred to the standing committee concerned.

The two treasury parties, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National Party, also supported the draft bill that is aimed at giving representation to women as judges in the Supreme Court with specific proportionate quota.

The statement of objects and reasons of the draft bill, moved by PPP Senator Dr Babar Awan, says that the instant bill is aimed at providing a due share to the deprived gender -female - in the higher judiciary like other organs of the state. The bill says that women are still deprived of their share in the higher judiciary while they have proportional representation in almost every sphere of life including Civil Services, provincial assemblies, National Assembly and the Senate. It proposes the appointment of one-third female judges, one each from four provinces, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the apex court.

"Since the last 70 years, it is unfortunate that no woman in Pakistan could ever become the judge of the Supreme Court or member of any judicial commission. Women of Pakistan have always played their due role well where ever they got opportunity except the higher judiciary," Dr Babar Awan said adding that he had proposed 33 percent representation of women judges out of the total strength of the apex court judges.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid said that Article 177 of the Constitution mentions the procedure of the appointment of judges and it did not bar the women to become judges of the apex court. "But no women could become judges because of the lack of interest in the field of law or their low number in this profession," he endorsed. The house also adopted the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016. These bills were also referred to relevant committees for further deliberations.

The House unanimously passed the resolution recommending that the "government should prepare a complete dossier about Indian interference in Pakistan's internal affairs fomenting unrest, inability and terrorism and send the same to key international countries and institutions". Three other resolutions and four motions under Rule 218 appearing on orders of the day were dropped due to absence of their sponsoring lawmakers.