In a recent comparative analysis conducted by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly has emerged as the leading provincial assembly in Pakistan in terms of transparency and access to information during the five-year term from 2018 to 2023.
PILDAT’s findings reveal that parliamentary transparency, particularly legislative transparency, has been on the decline in Pakistan’s provincial assemblies since 2018. Limited public access to legislative proceedings has raised concerns about transparency and public trust.
The KP Assembly took the lead with a score of 8.5 out of 11, distinguishing itself as the only assembly to provide live telecasts of its proceedings. The Punjab Assembly secured the second position with a score of 7, primarily due to its comprehensive attendance records available online.
Balochistan Assembly secured the third rank with a score of 6.5, while the Sindh Assembly lagged behind with a score of 5.5, offering the least information on its website.
The Sindh Assembly outshone others by convening 326 sittings during its term, averaging 65 sittings per year. Meanwhile, Punjab Assembly met for 274 days, with an average of 62 sittings per year during its 4 years and 5 months tenure. The KP Assembly held 248 sittings, averaging 56 sittings per year. Balochistan Assembly had the lowest number of sittings, convening 241 sessions, averaging 48 sittings per year.
Sindh Assembly also led in terms of working hours, totaling 921 hours during the five-year term, averaging 184 hours and 20 minutes per year. Balochistan Assembly logged 581 hours and 18 minutes, averaging 116 hours per year. The KP Assembly met for 574 hours and 27 minutes, averaging 130 hours per year. Punjab Assembly convened for 530 hours and 47 minutes, averaging 120 hours and 12 minutes per year.
Remarkably, the Balochistan Assembly had the highest chief minister attendance rate at 31 percent, followed by Sindh at 26 percent, and Punjab at 14 percent. Chief Minister Mahmood Khan of KP had the lowest attendance at only 8 percent during his 4 years and 5 months tenure.
In legislative productivity, despite being dissolved seven months early, the KP Assembly passed the highest number of bills, with an average of 43 bills per year. Punjab followed closely, passing 180 bills with an average of 41 per year. Sindh passed 149 bills (average of 30 per year), while Balochistan passed only 96 bills, the lowest among the four assemblies, averaging 19 per year.
Regarding budget sessions, the Punjab Assembly devoted the most time, with 11 days per year, while Sindh averaged 9 days per year. Balochistan and KP spent the least time in budget sessions, with 8 and 7 days per year, respectively. These rankings shed light on the varying degrees of transparency, legislative activity, and public access across Pakistan’s provincial assemblies during the 2018-2023 term.