The National Assembly (Urdu : قومی اسمبلئ پاکستان— Qaumī Asimbli’e Pākistān of Pakistan is the country’s sovereign legislative body. It embodies the will of the people to let themselves be governed under the democratic, multi-party Federal Parliamentary System. The National Assembly makes laws for the Federation in respect of the powers enumerated in the Federal Legislative list. Through its debates, adjournment motion, question hour and Standing Committees, the National Assembly keeps as check over the Executive and ensures that the government functions within the parameters set out in the Constitution and does not violate the fundamental rights of citizens. Only the National Assembly, through its Public Accounts Committee, scrutinizes public spending and exercises control of expenditure incurred by the government.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a Federal State comprising four provinces of Balochistan , the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Punjab and Sindh; Islamabad is the Federal Capital with Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). These federating units offer a lot of diversity and variety in terms of languages, levels of social and economic development, population density and climatic conditions.The Members of the National Assembly are to be elected by direct and free vote in accordance with law.
|Last Election:||11 May 2013|
|Voting system:||Mixed member majoritarian (First past the post for most seats, 60 seats reserved for women and 10 seats reserved for religious minorities by proportional representation)|
|Opposition (132):||Pakistan Peoples Party (47) Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (33) Muttahida Qaumi Movement (24) Jamaat-e-Islami (4) Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (4) Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (2) Awami National Party (2) Balochistan National Party (1) Qaumi Watan Party (1) Pakistan Muslim League (Z) (1) National Party (1) Awami Muslim League (1) AJIP (1) All Pakistan Muslim League (1) Independents (9)|
|Government Coalition (209):||Pakistan Muslim League (N) (189) Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (13) Pakistan Muslim League (F) (5) National People’s Party (2)|
|Leader of Opposition:||Khurshid Shah (PPP) Since 7 June 2013|
|Leader of House :||Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) Since 5 June 2013|
|Deputy Speaker:||Javed Abbasi (PML-N) Since 3 June 2013|
|Speaker:||Speaker Ayaz Sadiq (PML-N) Since 9 November 2015|
|Type:||Lower house of the Parliament of Pakistan|
|13th National Assembly was held:||18 February 2008|
|Meeting place:||Parliament House, Islamabad|
|Political Groups:||PPP (124) PML-(N) (91) PML-(Q) (51)|
|Last Election:||18 February 2008|
|Our Vision:||To transform the performance into one of excellence and in so doing contribute to the creation of a better quality of life for the people of Mauritius.|
Article 50 of the Constitution provides that the Parliament of Pakistan shall consist of President and the two Houses known as the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly has an edge over the Senate by legislating exclusively on money matters. With exception to money Bills, however, both the Houses work together to carryout the basic work of the Parliament, i.e. law making.
The Bill relating to the Federal Legislative List can be originated in either House. If the House passed the Bill through majority vote, it shall be transmitted to the other House. If the other House passes it witdout amendment, it shall be presented to the President for assent.
If the Bill, transmitted to the other House, is not passed within ninety days or rejected, it shall be considered in a joint sitting to be summoned by the President on the request of the House in which the Bill was originated. If the Bill is passed in the joint sitting, with or without amendments, by the votes of majority of the members of the two Houses, it shall be presented to the President for assent.
If the Bill is presented to the President for assent, he shall assent to the Bill in not later than ten days.If it is not a Money Bill, the President may return the Bill to the Majlis-e-Shoora with a message requesting that the Bill be reconsidered and that an amendment specified in the message be considered. The Majlis-e-Shoora shall reconsider the Bill in a joint sitting.If the Bill is passed again, with or without amendment, by vote of the majority of the members present and voting, it shall be presented to the President and the President shall give his assent within ten days; failing which such assent shall be deemed to have been given.
Under the Constitution, the Parliament may also legislate for two or more Provinces by consent and request made by those Provinces. If the Federal Government proclaims State of Emergency in any province, the power to legislate about that province is vested in the Parliament.But the Bills passed by the Parliament during the State of Emergency, shall cease to be in force after the expiration of six months from the date Emergency is lifted. Nevertheless, the steps already taken under these Acts shall remain valid.
In exercises of its constitutional role, the Parliament also has other very important duties to perform.The President, who is at the apex, is elected by members of both Houses of the Parliament and the Provincial Assemblies. The Prime Minister, who heads the Cabinet and is meant to aid and advise the President in his functions, belongs to the National Assembly. He enjoys the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly. Members of the Cabinet are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
In the formation of the Cabinet the major portion (75%), goes to National Assembly while the rest (25%) are taken from the Senate.
There is a democratic procedure to remove the Prime Minister from his office if he loses confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly. In this respect a resolution for a vote of no-confidence is moved by not less then 20% of the total membership of the National Assembly. If the resolution is passed by majority of the total membership of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister immediately relinquished powers.
Similarly, for the removal or impeachment of the President, not less than one-half of the total membership of either House may give in writing its intention to do so, to the Speaker National Assembly, or, as the case may be, to the Chairman Senate, for moving a resolution for the purpose. In a joint sitting of the two Houses, convened for the purpose, and after the deliberations, if the resolution is passed by the votes of not less than two thirds of the total membership of the Parliament, the President shall cease to hold office immediately on the passing of the resolution.
In case emergency is proclaimed, the Parliament holds the authority to extend the term of the National Assembly. Under the Constitution, the Parliament may also, on the request of the Federal Government, by law, confer functions upon officers or authorities subordinate to the Federal Government.
President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
President Mamnoon Hussain was born on December 23, 1940 at Agra, British India. He migrated to Pakistan in 1949 with his entire family. Mr. Mamnoon Hussain received his education in Karachi. He did his B.Com (Hons.) from Karachi University in 1963, and then joined the prestigious Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi from where he completed his M.B.A. in 1965.He joined his fathers factory on completion of his education. Later, he shifted to textile business.
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Current Prime Minister
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is a Pakistani politician who has been the Prime Minister of Pakistan since 1st August 2017 – Present. A member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (N) , he has been a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since 2008 and previously had been a Member of the National Assembly from 1988 to 1999.
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan
Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif , Member of the National Assembly was elected as Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan by the members of the National Assembly having secured 244 votes in the session of the National Assembly held on 5 June 2013 – 30 Sep 2017.
Speakers of National Assembly
Speaker National Assembly Of Pakistan November 9 2015 To Date
Honorable Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was re-elected as Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan by securing 268 votes on 9th November, 2015. He created new parliamentary history as he was elected twice as Speaker National Assembly during the same tenure of the Assembly.
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq joined the family business after the completion of his studies, he also started taking keen interest in the social welfare activities; a family legacy. This enabled him to grasp the difficulties of the downtrodden, igniting a passion to bring social reforms through political activism. He entered mainstream politics in 1997 and later joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on 1st February 2001.
His joining the PML-N marked the unconstitutional overthrow of the Government of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a military coup, which led to his arduous journey of opposition. He remained steadfast in his chosen path and braved arrests and political victimizations. He also worked diligently to organize the party at all levels as Member of the Central Executive Committee and the Central Finance Secretary of the PML-N.
In 2002, he made his debut to the Parliament by getting elected in both the National as well as the Provincial Assemblies from Lahore. He chose to take oath as a Member of the National Assembly and contributed as Member of the Standing Committees on Finance, Railway and Defence Production. He was among 19 legislators from his party in a House of 342.
In 2008, he successfully returned to the National Assembly for a second term and was elected as the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Railways. He also served as Member of the all-powerful Public Accounts Committee and the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir. During this term, he also helped the then Speaker in materializing the idea of Parliamentary Friendship Groups by drafting its rules. His contributions as Convener of the Pak-German Parliamentary Friendship Group went a long way in building a strong parliamentary relationship between the two countries.
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was elected to the Parliament for the third consecutive term in 2013 by managing a landslide victory. He secured over ninety-three thousand votes. In view of his contributions to the Party and the Parliament, he was nominated for the Office of the Speaker. He was elected to this Constitutional Office with an over two-third majority.
Murtaza Javed Abbasi Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan
Mr. Murtaza Javed Abbasi , Member National Assembly of Pakistan has been elected as Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan on 03 June, 2013 by securing more than two-third majority vote (258 votes).Prior to this Mr. Murtaza Javed Abbasi was elected as MNA on the ticket of PML(N) in 2008 election and was also elected as Chairman Standing Committee on Narcotic Control of the National Assembly and successfully discharged his responsibilities and parliamentary functions in accordance with the Rules of procedures and conduct of business in the National Assembly.Mr. Murtaza Javed Abbasi is son of late Haji Javed Iqbal Abbasi who remained Chairman District Council Abbottabad for 12 years and twice elected as Member National Assembly and Senator.Mr. Murtaza Javed Abbasi was born on 15th March 1970 and did his graduation from Peshawar University. natiional Assembly of Pakistan.
Opposition Leader of National Assembly of Pakistan
Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah is a Pakistani politician and lawyer who is currently serving as the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan. A leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Shah born in Sukkur and was educated at the Government Islamia Science College Sukkur.
In 2013, Shah was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. Shah has been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since 1990 from Sukkur constituency and is considered as one of the senior leaders of PPP, having good relations with leaders of other political parties in Pakistan.
On 16th October 1951, Prime Minister Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, mover of the Objective Resolution, was assassinated and Khawaja Nazimuddin took over as the Prime Minister on 17th October 1951.The final draft of the Constitution was prepared in 1954. By that time, Muhammad Ali Bogra had taken over as the Prime Minister. However, just before the draft could be placed in the House for approval, the Assembly was dissolved by the then Governor General Ghulam Muhammad on 24th October1954. The Prime Minister was, however, not dismissed and was asked to run the administration, with a reconstituted Cabinet, until such time as the elections were held.Maulvi Tamizuddin, President of the Assembly, challenged the dissolution in the Sindh Chief Court, and won the case. The Government in return, went to the Federal Court, where the famous judgment was given by the then Chief Justice Muhammad Munir, according to which Maulvi Tamizuddin lost the case.The second Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was created on 28th May 1955 under Governor General’s Order No.12 of 1955. The Electoral College for this Assembly was the Provincial Assemblies of respective Provinces. The strength of this Assembly was 80 Members, half each from East Pakistan and West Pakistan . One of the major decisions taken by this Assembly was the establishment of West Pakistan (One Unit), with the aim to create parity between the two wings (East and West Pakistan). This Assembly also achieved its target by giving the first Constitution to the nation i.e. the Constitution of Pakistan 1956. Choudhary Muhammad Ali was the Prime Minister at that time. The draft of this Constitution was introduced in the Assembly on 9th January 1956 and was passed by the Assembly on 29th February 1956. The assent was given on it by the Governor General on 2nd March 1956. This Constitution was enforced with effect from 23rd March 1956. Under this Constitution, Pakistan became an Islamic Republic, hence 23rd March became our Republic day. It was the same day in 1940 that the historic Pakistan Resolution was adopted at Minto Park, Lahore.
On 5th March 1956, Major General Sikandar Mirza became the first elected President of Pakistan. The 1956 constitution provides for Parliamentary form of government with all the executive powers in the hands of Prime Minister. President was Head of the State and was to be elected by all Members of the National and Provincial Assemblies. He was to hold office for 5 years. The President was to act on the advice of Prime Minister, except where he was empowered to act in his discretion.Under 1956 Constitution, Parliament was unicameral. Legislative powers vested in the Parliament, which consisted of the President and the National Assembly comprising 300 Members divided equally between East and West Pakistan . In addition to these 300 seats, five seats were reserved for women for each of the two wings, for a period of ten years: thus bringing the total membership of the House to 310.
However, in the absence of any law to control the Political Parties and the problem of floor crossing, political instability perpetually ensued. Although the first general election were scheduled for early 1959, President Sikandar Mirza abrogated the Constitution, dissolved the National and Provincial Assemblies, and declared Martial Law, on 7th October 1958. He appointed General Muhammad Ayub Khan, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, as the Chief Martial Law Administrator.On 27th October 1958 General Muhammad Ayub Khan took-over as a second President of Pakistan. One of the first major steps taken by General Ayub Khan was the appointment of a Constitution Commission on 17th February 1960. The objective of this commission was to submit proposals, as to how best democracy can be strengthened and molded according to the countrys socio-political environment and Islamic principles of justice. The total membership of the National Assembly was 156, one half of whom were to be elected from East Pakistan and other half from West Pakistan, also three seats were reserved for women from each province. The term of this Assembly was three years. The norm was established that if the President was from West Pakistan, the Speaker was to be from East Pakistan and vice versa. One of the major achievements of this Assembly was the passage of Political Parities Act, 1962.On 25th March 1969 the second Martial law was imposed and General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan took-over as the President of Pakistan and Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA). He later issued a Legal Framework Order (LFO), under which the first ever general elections were held on 7th December 1970. This was the first Assembly elected on the adult franchise and population basis. It consist of 313 members, 169 from East Pakistan and 144 from West Pakistan including 13 reserved seats for women (6 were from West Pakistan and 7 from East Pakistan). Soon after the elections, due to grave political differences, the Province of East Pakistan seceded from West Pakistan and became Bangladesh. On 20th December 1971 Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took over as the President of Pakistan as well as the first civil Chief Martial Law Administrator.The first session of the National Assembly, due to the delay caused by the separation of East Pakistan, was held on 14thApril 1972 at the State Bank Building, Islamabad, in which all 144 Members from West Pakistan and two from former East Pakistan (Mr. Noor-ul-Amin and Raja Tridev Roy who had chosen to join Pakistan) participated. On 17th April 1972 an Interim Constitution was adopted by the National Assembly, which provided for a Presidential form of Government. Under this Constitution, the National Assembly was not to be dissolved earlier than 14th August 1973. The Interim Constitution dealt in detail with the distribution of powers between the Centre and the Provinces.
The Assembly also formed a Constitution Committee on 17th April 1972 to prepare the first draft for framing a Constitution. The report of the Committee was presented with a draft Constitution on 31st December 1972. It was unanimously passed by the Assembly in its session on 10th April 1973 and was authenticated by the President on 12th April 1973. This Constitution, called the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, was promulgated on 14th August 1973. On the same day, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took oath as the Prime Minister, while Mr. Fazal Illahi Choudhary took oath as the President of Pakistan.The 1973 Constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government where the executive authority of the state vests with the Prime Minister. The President, according to the Constitution, is at the apex, representing the unity of the Republic.
The seats in National Assembly, unlike the Senate, are allocated to each province and other units of the federation, on the basis of population. The Constitutional provision of 20 special seats for women lapsed in 1990, thus decreased the Assembly strength from 237 to 217. Under the Constitution, elections to the 10 seats reserved for minority were held on separate electorate basis.
Despite the tenure of the Assembly being five years, as prescribed in the Constitution, Mr. Z.A.Bhutto, on 7th January 1977 announced the holding of elections before time. Consequently, on 10th January 1977, he advised the President to dissolve the National Assembly. Elections were held on 7th March 1977. The opposition charged the government with rigging the elections to the National Assembly and thereafter boycotted the Provincial Assemblies elections. Since the opposition had not accepted the National Assembly elections result, they did not take oath. This resulted in severe political crisis and Martial Law was imposed by the then Army Chief, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, on 5th July 1977.On 24th December 1981, under Presidential Order (P.O.15 of 1981) a Federal Council (Majlis-e-Shoora) was constituted by the President. Its members were nominated by the President. The first session of this Council was held on 11th January 1982. In this way, limited and controlled political activities were resumed, as a result of which general elections were later held for the National and Provincial Assemblies on 25th February 1985, on non-party basis.On 2nd March 1985, the revival of Constitution Order (P.O.14 of 1985) was issued in which a large number of amendments were made in the Constitution. The first session of the National Assembly was held 20th March 1985. Mr. Muhammad Khan Junejo, was nominated as the Prime Minister of Pakistan by the President Mr. Miraj Khalid was elected as a Speaker National Assembly on 3rd December 1988. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was nominated as Prime Minister of Pakistan and took the oath of the Office on 2nd December 1988. The Assembly was dissolved by the President, Ghulam Ishaq Khan under Article 58(2)(b) on 6th August 1990.The General elections for the ninth National Assembly was held on 24th October 1990. The first session was held on 3rd November 1990. Mr. Gohar Ayub Khan elected as Speaker National Assembly and he took oath on 4th November 1990. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan on 11th November, 1993. The Assembly was dissolved by the then President, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, under Article 58(2)(b) on 18th April 1993. The dissolution of the National Assembly was challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and after hearing the case the Assembly was restored by the apex court on 26th May 1993. The Assembly was dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister on 18th July 1993.The elections for tenth National Assembly was held on 6th October 1993. The first session was held on 15th October 1993. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani took oath of the office of the Speaker National Assembly on 17th October 1993. Mohtarma Benizar Bhutto administered the oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan on October 19th October 1993. The Assembly was dissolved by the President Farooq Ahmad Khan Laghari on 5th November 1996.
The elections for eleventh National Assembly was held on 3rd February 1997. The first session was held on 15th February 1997. Mr. Illahi Bukhsh Soomro took oath of the office of the Speaker National Assembly on 16th February 1997. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan and Leader of the House on 17th February 1997. The new Assembly came into power with an overwhelming majority. The Article 58(2)(b) was later on omitted from the Constitution vide 13th Amendment in the Constitution in April 1997.
It may be pertinent to note at this point that while, ostensibly, sixteen amendments have been made in the Constitution so far, the ninth and the eleventh Constitutional Amendments were, however, passed by the Senate alone and fifteenth by the National Assembly alone, hence these amendments lapsed. The fourteenth Amendment in the Constitution empowered a check on floor crossing of legislators.
Chief of Army Staff General Pervaz Musharraf , who was also Chairman Joint Staff Committee, took over the government from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and declared himself as Chief Executive through a Proclamation of Emergency, on 12th October 1999. Through Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) issued on October 14th 1999, he held the Constitution in abeyance, suspended the Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies, Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate, Speaker, Deputy Speaker National and Provincial Assemblies and dismissed the Federal and Provincial governments. The President Mr. Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was, however allowed to continue in his office. Under PCO (order No. 6) 29th October 1999, (as amended by C.E. Order No.5, 4th July 2001), the National Security Council was established for the purpose to tender advice to the Chief Executive (later on President), on matters relating to Islamic ideology, national security, sovereignty, integrity and solidarity of Pakistan so as to achieve the aims and objective as enshrined in the Objectives Resolution 1949.
Syed Zafar Ali Shah, MNA and Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, Speaker National Assembly, challenged the suspension orders in the Supreme Court. The Court in its judgment on 12th May 2000 validated the military takeover by giving three years time frame to the government, starting from 12th October 1999. The Court in its judgment asked the government to complete its agenda and then hand over powers to the elected government. The court also allowed the military government to bring necessary Constitutional Amendments, provided that those should not change the basic feature of Federal Parliamentary democracy, independence of judiciary and Islamic provisions in the Constitution. The court reserved the right of Judicial Review and power of validity of any act or any action of the government, if challenged, in the light of State necessity.On 20th June 2001, through a notification (C.E. Order No.1) the Chief Executive assumed the office of the President of Pakistan under President’s Succession Order, 2001. On the same day, through another Order (C.E. Order No. 2, 2001), the President converted the orders of suspension of legislative bodies and their presiding officers, in to dissolution.
The elections for twelfth National Assembly was held on 10th October 2002.The inaugural session of the National Assembly was held on November 16, 2002 and Ch Amir Hussain and Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob were elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively on November 19, 2002. Â Mir Zafar ullah Jamali was elected Leader of the House on November 21, 2002 .Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain gave the ruling on June 14, 2003 that LFO is the part of the Constitution of Pakistan. On this issue, Opposition Parties submitted a resolution for vote of no confidence against Speaker National Assembly on June 20, 2003 which was rejected on June 28, 2003.National Assembly of Pakistan expressed confidence in the leadership of President General Pervez Musharaf through the resolution on January 1, 2004. Â President General Pervez Musharaf addressed the Joint Session of the Parliament on January 17, 2004. Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali resigned from his office on June 26, 2004. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was elected the 21st Prime Minister of Pakistan on June 29, 2004 and obtained a vote of confidence from the National Assembly on June 30, 2004. Mr. Shaukat Aziz was elected the Leader of the House on August 27, 2004 and was administered oath of the Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 28, 2004. National Assembly of Pakistan completed its Constitutional tenure on November 15, 2007. After the resignation from the post of Chief of Army Staff, Mr. Pervez Musharaf administered the oath of President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on November 29, 2007. The date of next General Election was fixed for January 28, 2008. After the assassination of Muhatarma Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007, date of election was rescheduled for February 18, 2008.
Raja Pervez Ashraf was elected the Prime Minister of Pakistan on June 22, 2012 by the National Assembly and administered oath of the Office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan on same day.In pursuance of Article 52 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan the 13th National Assembly stands dissolved on the completion of its constitutional term of five years on 16th March 2013.Justice (R) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso took oath as caretaker Prime Minister Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 25th March 2013 and completed his tenure on June 5, 2013 after conducting successful general elections in the country on 11th May 2013.The first Session of the 14th National Assembly was held on June 1, 2013 and Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza administered the oath from the newly elected Members. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was elected as Speaker of the 14th National Assembly of Pakistan and Mr. Murtaza Javed Abbasi as Deputy Speaker with more than two third majority of votes on 3rd June 2013. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif elected as third time Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and took oath of the Office on 5th June 2013. The transition of power from one elected government to the newly democratically elected government was smooth and historic milestone achieved in a very transparent manner.Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, the President Islamic Republic of Pakistan addresses both Houses Assembled together (Majlis-i-Shora) on 10th June 2013 under clause 3 of Article 56 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.The election for the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan was held on 30th July 2013 and Mr. Mamnoon Hussain was elected to the office of the President. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari completed his tenure of five years on 9th September 2013 as President Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Mr. Mamnoon Hussain took oath of the office of the President Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 9th September 2013..
The life of National Assembly is divided into sessions. It had to meet for 130 days before the First Amendment passed on 8 May 1974 in the constitution of 1973. According to this Amendment, maximum duration between successive sessions was reduced to 90 days from 130 days, and there must be at least three sessions in a year. A session of the National Assembly is summoned by the President of Pakistan under Article 54(1) of the Constitution. In the summoning order the President gives the date, time and place (which is usually the Parliament House), for the National Assembly to meet. The date and time for the summoning of the National Assembly is immediately announced over Radio and Television. Generally, a copy of the summon is also sent to the Members at their home address. The National Assembly can also be summoned by the Speaker of National Assembly on a request made by at one-fourth of the total membership of the National Assembly. If the National Assembly is so requisitioned, it must be summoned within 14 days.
While recognizing the Committee System, the committees have been empowered to go into all matters of the ministry. A matter can be remitted to a standing committee by the Speaker or the Assembly suo moto and without moving any motion.
The committees have also been empowered to invite or summon before it any member or any other person having a special interest in relation to any matter under its consideration and may hear expert evidence and hold public hearing.
Composition and elections
The composition of the National Assembly is specified in Article 51 of the Constitution of Pakistan. There are a total of 342 seats in the National Assembly. Of these, 272 are filled by direct elections. In addition, the Pakistani Constitution reserves 10 seats for religious minorities and 60 seats for women, to be filled by proportional representation among parties with more than 5% of the vote. As of 2006, there are 72 women members in the Assembly.
Members of the National Assembly are elected by the people in competitive multi-party elections, to be held at most five years apart on universal adult franchise. To be a member of electoral college, according to Article 62 of the Constitution, candidates must be citizens of Pakistan and not less than 18 years of age.