ISLAMABAD - All focus and criticism directed towards prolonged absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from national assembly sessions overshadowed the same disinterest shown by other national leaders like Imran Khan, Fazlur Rahman and Pervaiz Elahi, who also remained away from the parliament most of the time during the 1st parliamentary year.
Though only seven days attendance of Prime Minister Sharif in the first parliamentary year was widely criticised, other parliamentary leaders like Imran Khan, Fazlur Rahman and Pervaiz Elahi also bothered to mark their presence not more than 12 days.
The maximum participation of parliamentary leaders was recorded 60 per cent, whereas two political parties’ parliamentary leaders are also in queue who stepped in the house only for two days.
The number of the sittings attended by parliamentary leaders in the lower house of the parliament revealed that Prime Minister Sharif could not consecutively grace the proceeding of the NA from fourth to seventh sessions, according to the figures shared by FAFEN.
The PM, in his total seven attendance, witnessed the proceeding twice in the second session and once in each first, eighth, ninth and eleventh sessions. Despite severe criticism from the parliamentarians and opposition parties, Premier Sharif never stepped in the upper house since taking oath as prime minister. The senators have raised the issue several times but Premier Sharif paid no heed to their voices.
Leader of opposition Syed Khursheed Shah remained at the top with 75 days attendance among major political figures in national assembly.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Khan attended the proceedings for 11 days only in the first parliamentary year. The appearance percentage reflects that Khan participated once in every sitting.
The tale of Maulana Fazlur Rahman is not much different from aforementioned political figures, as he also attended the proceeding only 15 days out of total 100 days. He also did not bother to attend three sessions of the lower house.
Pervaiz Elahi, parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League (Qauid), also became part of the proceedings only for 11 days.
Interestingly, Eng Usman Khan Taraki from AJIP and Sardar Kamal Khan Bangulzai attended the proceeding of the house only for two days in the whole parliamentary year.
Mehmood Khan Achakzai, chief of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), remained at the top among other parliamentary leaders with maximum 60 days attendance. Sahibzada Tariqullah from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) remained second among other parliamentary leaders with 59 days attendance.
Available figures further show that Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao from QWP attended NA sessions for 46 days, Sheikh Rashid, 42 days, Pir Saddar-ud-Din Rashidi from PML-F, 30 days, and Iftikharuddin from APML, 40 days.