ISLAMABAD -  The prime minister, dozens of ministers and scores of lawmakers stayed out of the National Assembly proceedings on Friday but no one was missed as much as the “turbaned warrior” -  Ayesha Gulalai Wazir.

A day earlier, the Pashtun lawmaker had entered the parliament with a unique look, supporting a turban. She walked into the National Assembly hall like an “angry young man” and vowed to defeat the mafia.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was not in the assembly to watch the disgruntled lawmaker.

But the PTI chief has missed so much in the National Assembly that he is hardly missed now.

Friday’s session was marred with the quorum issue and the proceedings had to be stopped by the chair for the counting.

Wazir’s PTI colleague Hamidul Haq Khalil had pointed out the quorum as soon as the session started.

About half an hour was lost but the quorum was found in order.

The lawmakers who had made it convenient for themselves to attend the proceedings were always looking towards the entry points of the hall expecting Ayesha Gulalai Wazir to storm into the parliament any moment with perhaps a “Kalashnikov rifle” on her shoulder.

But she never arrived.

Explaining the reason behind her man-like avatar, Wazir had said she would fight against mafia alone and the turban meant “panther”.

She recalled that Razia Sultana had also worn a turban when she competed with men.

Wazir had accused the PTI chief, Imran Khan, of sending her lewd text messages and of harassment.

She has demanded that the PTI chief’s Blackberry phone should be checked.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had proposed a parliamentary committee on ethics to investigate the allegations but the body is yet to be formed.

The PTI and its ally, the Jamaat-e-Islami, have refused to be part of this committee.

The new prime minister and his cabinet have proven no better than Nawaz Sharif and his team in giving importance to the parliamentary proceedings.

Abbasi was absent and so were majority of his cabinet members.

The empty front rows were in fact instrumental in the PTI’s call to check quorum.

Interestingly, the new entrants in the cabinet also chose to skip the proceedings although most people expected them to perform better for the sake of their future.

The house suspended the business through a motion to discuss the Election Bill 2017.

All the parties acknowledged each other’s efforts over a period of three years to prepare the draft.

The lawmakers were optimistic that no one will be able to raise objections in the next general elections if the bill was passed.

The proposed law recommends voting rights for the overseas Pakistanis.

It calls for the constitution of a new Election Commission before the general polls.

Restrictions on election expenditures have also been proposed. The caretaker government, under the bill, should have a 50 per cent representation from both the outgoing government and the opposition.

There is a proposal to introduce biometric system for the next general elections to verify the voters.

Necessary amendments in the constitution have also been recommended.

After the 2013 polls, the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf alleged rigging, which brought the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz into power.

The PML-N also pointed to selective rigging.

The PML-N believes that since the bill has been prepared as a result of joint efforts of the government and the opposition, it should be passed into law soon to ensure free and fair polls next year.

At the start, the house observed a one-minute silence to express solidarity with the people of Spain in the wake of the terrorist attack in Barcelona.