Inaugural 336th Session of the Senate to begin 22nd Parliamentary Year



  1. 41 Senators-elect were administered oath
  2. Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman

Working Hours

The 336th Session of the Senate marking the beginning of the Senate’s 22nd Parliamentary Year was held for a single sitting on April 09. This was the first session after the Senate elections were held on April 2, 2024. The session was convened for 03 hours and 55 minutes in a single sitting and started with a delay of 10 minutes.

Agenda of the Session

The agenda of the inaugural session included oath-taking of the newly-elected Senators as well as the election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Senate. No agenda items were left over during the session.

At the Inaugural 336th Session of the Senate 22nd Parliamentary Year, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, (ICT, PML-N), administered oath to 41 newly-elected members from Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh and ICT as the Election Commission of Pakistan had postponed elections for 11 seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Two elected members, Mr. Faisal Vawda (Sindh, IND) and Maulana Abdul Wasay (Balochistan, JUIP), were absent from the inaugural session and were not administered oath. Senator Dar also administered oath to Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani (ICT, PPPP) who was elected as Chairman of the Senate.


Quorum was not pointed out during the 336th session of the Senate.


Seventy-eight (78) Senators were recorded as present during the 336th session including the senators-elect who were administered oath.

Vocal Senators

Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar (Punjab, PML-N) Federal Minister for Law and Justice, Syed Ali Zafar (Punjab, PTI), Senator Mohsin Aziz (KP, PTI) and Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Leader of the House (ICT, PML-N), spoke for 12, 9, 8 and 2 minutes respectively during the session.


No Government or Private Member Bill was passed during the Session.


41 newly-elected Senators were sworn in. However, the proceedings were marred by noisy protests led by Senators belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).[1]

The session was summoned by President Asif Ali Zardari to administer oath to newly-elected members and elect the Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Leader of the House (ICT, PML-N) performed the duties of the presiding officer during the session.

Background to the Senate Election

To elect half the retiring membership of the Senate of Pakistan, April 2 was declared as the date for election. However, a variety of issues affected the Senate election, key amongst which was the saga of reserved seats, where the ECP had decided, and its decision upheld by the Peshawar High Court (PHC), that the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) did not qualify for the allocation of the reserved seats as did other political parties.[2]

While reserved seats were allocated to other political parties earlier, the ECP, on March 5, allotted 20 reserved seats for women and non-Muslim minorities in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. These seats were distributed among various political parties, excluding the SIC.[3] The SIC’s petition in the PHC against the ECP’s order was dismissed on March 14, 2024. However, the KP Assembly Speaker declined to convene a session of the Assembly and to administer oath to members elected on reserved seats for women and non-Muslim minorities.[4] On March 27, 2024, the PHC directed the speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to administer the oath MPAs elected on reserved seats but these members could not take oath leading the ECP to postpone the Senate election in KP.[5]

As a result, the Senate election of April 2 could not be held for the Senate seats in KP due to the stand-off between the provincial government and the ECP over reserved seats. All of the candidates from Balochistan were elected unopposed while in Punjab, the PTI, PML-N, and PPP reportedly reached an understanding that allowed its seven general seats to be filled without contest. Punjab’s five remaining seats — two for women, two for technocrats, and one for minorities — were all won by the PML-N. In Sindh, the PPP secured all Senate seats excluding two which went to the MQM-P and Faisal Vawda, respectively.[6]

As the 336th session began, Senator Syed Ali Zafar (Punjab, PTI), while speaking on a point of order, referred to Articles 59 and 60 of the Constitution. He stated that the election of Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman could not take place until the house was “duly constituted” with all senators from four provinces taking oath. He emphasized that such an election without complete provincial representation would damage the federation. He also said that the “PTI would not become part of this unconstitutional process.”[7]

Senator Mohsin Aziz (KP, PTI) also voiced similar concerns, stating that the elections would “leave a scar on the people of KP” and urged the chair to adjourn the session. He deemed the electoral exercise in the absence of 11 senators as unconstitutional and advised the ruling coalition “to choose between the interest of the State and politics.[8]

In response, Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar (Punjab, PML-N), Federal Minister for Law and Justice, referred to Article 60 of the Constitution, asserting that elections for the Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman were mandatory once the positions became vacant. He stressed that the delay in Senate elections in KP was not due to any calamity, but rather because the KP government disregarded directives from the PHC and the ECP regarding the oath-taking of lawmakers elected on reserved seats.

The Senate elected Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani (ICT, PPPP) as Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan, while Senator Syedaal Khan (Balochistan, PML-N) was elected as Deputy Chairman of the Senate. Both were elected unopposed.

In a speech after being sworn in as the Senate Chairman, Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani (ICT, PPPP) said that the Senators symbolized the unity of the federation, emphasizing that the Senate represented the diversity and strength of the nation. Referring to “judicial murder” of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Senate Chairman said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had acknowledged its historical injustice. “54 years ago in April 1970, Pakistan passed its Constitution, which gave birth to the Senate. 45 years ago in April 1979, the creator of the Constitution, Bhutto was murdered.” Chairman Senate also highlighted that Pakistan is facing threats from those who aimed to divide and polarize the nation by inciting hatred and undermining democracy. “Among the many crises we confront, the most dangerous is an attempt to sow hatred among us, toxic polarization, and incitement of violence,” he added.[9]

  1. “Newly elected senators sworn in amid protest by PTI” Pakistan Today online, April 09, 2024, accessed May 21, 2024.

  2. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, “Saga of reserved seats,” Dawn online, May 18, 2024, accessed May 26, 2024.

  3. “ECP notifies allotment of 20 reserved seats for women in KP assembly” Associated Press of Pakistan online, March 05, 2024, accessed May 24, 2024.

  4. Abdul Hakeem, “No reserved seats for Sunni Ittehad Council as Peshawar High Court rejects plea against ECP’s decision” Dawn online, March 14, 2024, accessed May 24, 2024.

  5. Waseem Ahmad Shah, “PHC allows KP MPAs to take oath, vote in Senate polls” Dawn online, March 28, 2024, accessed May 24, 2024.

  6. “Senate elections,” Dawn online, April 03, 2024, accessed May 26, 2024. 

  7. Rizwan Shahzad, “Historic trifecta as Gilani wins Senate chair” The Express Tribune online, April 10, 2024, accessed May 22 2024.

  8. Iftikhar A. Khan, “Senate Chooses its custodian amid PTI walkout” Dawn online, April 10, 2024, accessed May 22, 2024.

  9. “Ruling coalition clinches posts of Senate chief, deputy” The News International online, April 10, 2024, accessed May 23, 202.