A mere ten out of 65 legislators attended the Balochistan Assembly session on Monday, compelling the deputy speaker to adjourn the proceedings which lasted less than five minutes.
The scheduled session was to approve a resolution pertaining to the 18th amendment, through which the provincial government could obtain power over ministries devolved to the provinces. The absenteeism also meant that the Balochistan Essential Health Service (Code of Conduct) Bill 2011 could not be passed. The bill seeks to put a check on frequent strikes by health professionals as well as prevent them from private practice while in public service.
Minister for Mines and Minerals Abdul Rehman Mengal drew attention to the empty seats, stating, “Despite the frequent requests and appeals to absentees for the past three years, lawmakers have failed to ensure their presence. The lawmakers are least interested in the proceedings.”
Out of the 65 members of the Balochistan Assembly, 50 are ministers. With the exception of sole Opposition member (and leader) Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, all members back the provincial government. Rind himself has never attended a session besides the one in which he took oath.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.
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