It is learned that the government is intending to launch a channel to live cover the sessions of National Assembly, Senate as well as standing committees of both houses. This initiative if materialised will be an excellent step taken by the state. If a channel is dedicated to the sessions of the parliament, there will be more pressure on parliamentarians to participate in the sessions actively. It is ironic to state that very few parliamentarians consider their task of representing their constituencies seriously.

READ MORE: Power of speech

To show different categories of parliamentarians, the idea of a TV channel solely dedicated to the sessions and activities of the parliament will ensure accountability. Some of the public representatives rarely speak in the meetings of National Assembly. And then there are representatives of the people who rarely bother to attend the sessions of the parliament. Still, they have the guts to criticise their opponents and hold them responsible for the crises that have befallen the country. Only a few days back the National Assembly could not proceed to take up its entire regular agenda regarding approval of demands for grants amidst lack of quorum on Wednesday. Setting up a channel will give people a chance to see if their representatives are present in the house or not.

As parliament is also responsible for government oversight, therefore it is also an essential role of a Member of National Assembly (MNA) to oversee the actions of government. MNAs are entitled to hold accountability and keep a check on the executive branch of government, which is a decision-making body. However, it is disappointing to note that often the times the MNAs fail to carry out the public mandate and protect the trust they are entrusted with.

A TV channel for Parliament would be able to provide a dedicated service to the people regarding the performance of parliamentarians. Parliament TV would broadcast all kinds of related news and announcements promptly. This will also help Parliament have direct contact with the constituents. More importantly, the channel can serve the purpose of performance evaluation tool of any MNA, senator, minister etc. A Parliament TV channel will help in keeping the constituents informed of the discourses and debates that take place in the parliament. The channel can enhance people’s understanding of the parliamentary affairs.

Pakistan will not be the first country to have a channel solely dedicated to the affairs of parliament. Nations as advanced as the United Kingdom and as developing as Bhutan have committed channels and radio services for updating the public on the matters of parliament. The channel will help in strengthening accountability of the parliament.