Imran plays truant in lower house

Published: November 21, 2016

ISLAMABAD: What would you do if one of your employees only showed up for work only for two days every month – but you pay him/her for 30 days?

That is what PTI supremo Imran Khan has been doing – attending the National Assembly barely for the last almost three-and-a-half years despite being an elected representative of over 0.25 million registered residents of NA-56.

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During this period, the National Assembly collectively held 374 sittings [comprising of 36 regular sessions and 10 joint sessions of parliament] of which Imran Khan attended only 22 – almost a little less than six per cent of the total sittings.

However, he continues to draw salaries and other privileges an MNA is paid out of the national kitty.

His overall performance in the National Assembly includes: eight times he spoke on matters related to the government on motions under Rule 18 [Rule 18 of the National Assembly’s Rules of Procedure allows the speaker to let members raise matters which concern the government], on seven occasions he participated in regular proceedings, he spoke on points of order eight times, and he asked only two questions for their written replies from federal ministries.

During the 2013 general elections, he contested four constituencies – he won on three and lost on one – and retained his seat of NA-56 (Rawalpindi).

The Express Tribune has compiled details of Khan’s overall performance using details available on the National Assembly website [attendance of the MNAs], NA Secretariat, and data available with the Free and Fair Election Network.

On-going parliamentary year

The 14th National Assembly has almost completed three-and-a-half parliamentary years. In NA, a parliamentary year starts from June 1 and ends on May 31 every year.

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During almost first six months of the on-going 4th parliamentary year, some four regular sessions and three joint sessions of parliament [comprising of a total of 49 sittings] have been held.

And Imran Khan attended the lower house only once during this time period – that is on September 8 during fifth sitting of the 35th session of the NA and his activity was limited to speaking once on a point of order on that day. He also skipped the budget session.

His attendance record shows that he came to the National Assembly on September 8 to avoid de-seating from the house because if a parliamentarian remains absent without leave for 40 consecutive days of a sitting, then he/she can be de-seated under Clause 2 of Article 64 of the Constitution.

He also did not attend three joint sittings – one each addressed by the Turkish president, the president of Pakistan and another convened to denounce human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

3rd parliamentary year

During the third parliamentary year, 11 regular sessions and two joint sessions of parliament were held consisting of a total of 119 sittings. Of these, Khan attended only five. He was absent for 80 days and availed leave for 34 sittings.

During five days of his presence in the assembly during the whole year, he participated in the house proceedings twice

2nd parliamentary year

It was the year when Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf opted for the first boycott of parliament due to its 126 days-long sit-in the party had staged in Islamabad to protest alleged general election riggings.

During this year, 11 regular sessions and four joint sessions were held comprising 109 sittings. Khan attended the house only four times.


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1st parliamentary year

Seeing Khan’s worst performance during 2nd, 3rd, and 4th parliamentary years, one can say his performance was relatively “good” during the first parliamentary year.

Khan attended 12 sittings out of 96 held during the parliamentary year 2013-14. And he was absent for 84 days. He asked two questions related to commerce and defence ministries and he got replies from the government.

He spoke seven times on different points of order related to governance, foreign relations, democracy and politics, etc. Besides, he also participated in regular proceedings five times. He also took part in proceedings five times through motion under rule 18.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2016.


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Reader Comments (19)

  • KK
    Nov 21, 2016 - 8:59AM

    Yet he poses to be the accountability champion.Recommend

  • BrainBro
    Nov 21, 2016 - 9:04AM

    Majority of his supporters have also started truanting on him. So what goes around comes around.Recommend

  • Ravian
    Nov 21, 2016 - 9:20AM

    Parliamentarians need to be held responsible. There should be a rule that if a parliamentarian is missing for 30 percent of the sessions in a year, his seat should be declared vacant for reelection and the he should also be made to pay for the election expenditures. Recommend

  • Hatim
    Nov 21, 2016 - 9:31AM

    How many sessions has Nawaz attended? Recommend

  • Sami
    Nov 21, 2016 - 9:33AM

    What would you do if most of your employees only show up for work whenever they feel like and make Billions of $$$ in corruption?

    There are diehard employees who are working for the company yet they do not have to be present in the Office, don’t they deserve their salaries?Recommend

  • Amal Khan
    Nov 21, 2016 - 10:49AM

    what about those who take billions and trillions over and above their salaries and don’t even work???? Can you please give us a break up of that as well?Recommend

  • Ali
    Nov 21, 2016 - 11:02AM

    There we go again. Looks like IK is at fault for everything wrong in Pakistan. Everyone targets him. Political parties, media etc but the truth is he is trying to break the status quo and InshAllah he will achieve that one day. Recommend

  • Tahir
    Nov 21, 2016 - 11:22AM

    Worse than him are Humza Shahbaz and Faryal Talpur. I don’t see their name. And by the way “Performing in the National Assembly is like winning a poker game on the Titanic. The ship is going down, but you are winning your cards.”Recommend

  • terba
    Nov 21, 2016 - 11:26AM

    Such a biased article! This has to be one of the most openly slanting pieces ever. How many times has our leader of the house Mr Prime Minister attended the assembly session during the same time period?? Any mention of that? No. The only handful of times that the PM did show up was when he wanted the assembly’s vote to become PM, and another time when he wanted to get the opposition on his side during the dhandli dharna, and then for Erdogan his business partner. Doesn’t it seem to the writer that PM’s attendance, being the leader of the house, is far more important than IK’s who is only a simple member of the house??Recommend

  • Faisal Afzal
    Nov 21, 2016 - 11:42AM

    He’s sucking money but at least he’s brought the corrupt people to their knees so whether he’s in there or not, he’s working. Parliament, meanwhile has become a waste of everyone’s time. Sometimes logic prevails over the standards and he’s one of those cases.Recommend

  • Doruk Adnnan
    Nov 21, 2016 - 11:58AM

    Please mention the attendance of Nawaz Sharif as well, as if he attends every session. Recommend

  • Truth_Prevails
    Nov 21, 2016 - 12:27PM

    The salary he has drawn is no match to his contributions. He has brought one of the biggest hidden thuga to his knees that will go a long way in setting accountability standards in the country.Recommend

  • F Khan
    Nov 21, 2016 - 1:40PM

    He does not attend parliament because he does not believe in parliamentary democracy, has openly said that in an interview.The problem is our political leaders only believe in parliament when they have a majority.For them if the are in opposition this means elections were rigged.In 1970 elections JI had just 7 seats in the NA and PPP had 2/3rd majority but they gave Bhutto a tough time. IK still needs to learn a lot about politics and parliamentary system and that is why most of the political workers think he is over rated as a leader and politician.Recommend

  • Saad
    Nov 21, 2016 - 3:25PM

    Interestingly PTI followers defend Imran by referring to Nawaz always. Recommend

  • NR
    Nov 21, 2016 - 3:36PM

    ET, Get a life.. You have just one point agenda of targeting IK to push the agenda of PPP and PMLN.. Recommend

  • Sadaqat Shah Roghani
    Nov 21, 2016 - 3:43PM

    Is there any break up of salary for attending the session and working outside the assembly. I think it is not only the session for which parliamentarians are paid. They are paid for their advocacy and other related work, they do outside the assembly as well.Recommend

  • Khan
    Nov 21, 2016 - 6:42PM

    IK has lost big time by acting irresponsibly and by being disrepectful to others and calling his shots without considering the repercussions. He is ill advised. He fails to concentrate on the things that need attention fto run a successful political party. . The phrase “talk the walk” perfectly fits his strategy and he is able to influence his public using his charisma .Recommend

  • Usman
    Nov 21, 2016 - 8:46PM

    Yes, that’s our concern. How much Imran Khan has attended parliament. Not who’s bankrupting the country.Recommend

  • Umair
    Nov 21, 2016 - 10:20PM

    Which party do you support? IF you support PTI then you should ask PTI for justifications. If Nawaz does something wrong, it doesnt allow Imran to run free. Same goes if you support PMLN or PPP. Recommend

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