With its triangular function of legislation, representation and oversight on the Executive Branch of the state, Parliament is normally considered to be the prime democratic institution to hold the governments and state institutions accountable, as well as articulate concerns on corrupt practices on behalf of citizens. In recent times, the same concern has been voiced about the parliaments, especially in South Asian societies. The integrity and accountability of parliament is as important as is that of the Executive Branch. General perception is that the accountability of parliament is ensured through the elections. But considering the long stretch of time between two elections, this seems insufficient mechanism of accountability. It is, this, incorporated within the constitutions and in rules of Business of the parliaments, whereby they (parliaments) present themselves for accountability. It was importance of this emerging concern that pressed me to explore the integrity & accountability mechanisms for the parliament, ingrained in Pakistan’s constitution and the Rules.
Following presentation was given on the request of Ms. Hina Jilani, Chair of South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), to one of their conferences in late August this year. I thought to post it here for the benefit of students of political science and the posterity. Hope you find this useful. Your feedback would be warmly welcomed and appreciated.