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ISLAMABAD: The proceedings of the National Assembly were marred once again due to lack of quorum on Tuesday as National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is acting as a silent spectator, despite repeated adjournments of the House proceedings for the last seven days.

The proceedings are constantly being adjourned since the start of the session, but the NA speaker, who is supposed to ensure the quorum, is seen nowhere as his deputy and presiding officers could be seen adjourning the House without taking any action after the quorums are pointed out by the opposition members.

On Tuesday, the proceedings started with Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri in the chair, which hardly lasted 20 minutes as the quorum was pointed out by an opposition lawmaker.

The chair kept ignoring the quorum, but the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, Babar Awan, pointed out that under the rules, it becomes mandatory to go for counting after the quorum is pointed out.

The chair ordered a headcount of the members and later adjourned the House till Wednesday at 4pm as the quorum was not in order.

Earlier, on the request of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Mehnaz Akber Ali, the chair referred a bill titled, "The Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, 2020" to the joint session of the parliament for passage, as the bill has been passed by the National Assembly but could not sail through the upper house of parliament within 90 days of its laying in the Senate.

In response to a calling attention notice, the House was informed that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) had already issued advisories to the universities and schools managements to facilitate the students appearing in 'O' and 'A level' exams without affecting their regular studies.

"The management of universities and schools have been asked to grant leave to the students for appearing in 'O' and 'A level' exams and making arrangements for holding remedial classes so that their regular studies are not disturbed," said Waiha Qamar, the parliamentary secretary for education.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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