What is the Role, Functions, and Composition of Senate of Pakistan

The Pakistan Senate is the upper house of the country’s bicameral parliament. It functions as a federal parliament and ensures equal representation of all four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan. This maintains balance with the National Assembly, where seats are distributed based on population. In this article, you will learn about the role, functions and composition of Senate of Pakistan.

In essence, the Senate is a legislative body that provides equal voice to all provinces, reviews and refines legislation, plays a role in financial matters, and offers continuity.

The Pakistan Senate is therefore an important part of the government of Pakistan, protecting the interests of the provinces, checking the powers of the National Assembly, and contributing to a stable and balanced parliament.

Role of the Senate of Pakistan

The role of the Senate is to promote national unity and harmony and to allay fears of smaller states about the supremacy of one state by a majority in the National Assembly.

The role of Pakistan’s Senate is to represent all federal units equally, as the number of members of parliament is based on the population of each province. Therefore, the equal representation of the states in the Senate balances the inequalities of the states in National Assembly and eliminates any doubts or fears about disadvantage or exploitation.

The Senate is a body that represents the states/territories of the country and promotes a sense of equality, peace and harmony that is so important to the growth and prosperity of the country. Over the years, the Senate has evolved into an important institution and stabilizing element of the Union.

Composition of Senate

The Senate represents the states and other regions of the country and is an institution that promotes a sense of equality, peace, and harmony that is so important to a country’s growth and prosperity. Over the years, the Senate has developed as an important institution and stabilizing factor of the Federation of Pakistan.

The Senate of Pakistan is composed of 100 seats. Out of these 100 seats, 62 are General seats, 17 seats reserved for Technocrats / Ulemas, 17 seats reserved for women and 04 seats are reserved for non-Muslims.

The provincial based composition of the Senate is given below:

Provinces / TerritoriesGeneralTechnocrats / UlemaWomenNon-MuslimsTotal
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa1444123
Federal Capital2114
Composition of Senate

Note: Though seventeen seats have been allocated to women, there is no limit on women to seek elections on the other seats.

Senate and its Membership

The Senate is a permanent legislative body that symbolizes the continuity of national government. The term of office of committee members is six years. However, half of the members retire every three years. Any temporary vacancy in the Senate created by the resignation, death, incapacity, disqualification, or removal of a member shall be filled by election by the appropriate Electoral College, and the member so elected shall fill the vacancy. shall hold office for the unexpired term of the resulting member.

Elections of the Senate

Senate elections are held in accordance with Article 59 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973. A person seeking election to the Senate shall be at least 30 years of age, be registered as a voter in the territory or state in which he or she seeks election, and meet the other requirements set out in Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

Elections of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Senate

After the Senate is formally established, its first meeting elects a Chairman and Deputy Chairman from among its members. If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chairman or Deputy Chairman, the Senate shall elect another member to serve as Chairman or Deputy Chairman.

What is the Term of Office of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Senate

Term of office of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman is three years. In absence of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman acts as Chairman.

How to Remove Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Senate

The Chairman and Deputy Chairman may be removed by a resolution of the members pursuant to Article 61 read with clause (c) of Article 53(7). The Chairman and Deputy Chairman, as the case may be, may not preside over a Senate meeting in which a resolution to remove the Chairman is being considered.

Quorum of the Senate

According to Article 55(2) of the Constitution, the quorum of the Senate is one-fourth (1/4). If at any time during a session of the Senate, the Chairman is notified that less than one-fourth of the total number of senators are present in the Senate session, the President shall be informed accordingly. The Chairman orders to ring the bell for five minutes. If even ringing the bell the one-fourth members of the Senate are not present then chairman will adjourn the session.

Functions of the Senate of Pakistan

The Senate of Pakistan fulfills several important functions within the country’s bicameral Parliament:

Representation and Legislation

Equal Provincial Voice

The Senate guarantees that all four provinces (Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan) will have an equal number of senators (23 each) regardless of their population. This ensures that smaller states have an important voice in national politics and promotes a sense of balance.

Reviewing Legislation

The Senate acts as a review body for bills passed by the National Assembly. Senators can debate the merits of a bill, propose amendments, and even veto it outright. This process ensures that amendments are made before the law takes effect.

Initiating Money Bills

The Senate holds the unique power to initiate Money Bills pertaining to federal taxes or duties. These bills then proceed to the National Assembly for approval.

Checks and Balances

Scrutinizing Government Spending

The Senate has the power to review and approve or reject financial laws passed by National Assembly. This will review government spending plans and ensure accountability.

Oversight on Borrowing

The Senate’s approval is necessary for the federal government to borrow money or levy new taxes. This grants the Senate a say in the nation’s financial health and prevents excessive borrowing.

Continuity and Stability

Unlike the National Assembly, which can be dissolved by the prime minister, the Senate is a permanent body. Only half of the senators retire every three years, and new senators are elected for their six-year terms. This ensures that experienced members are always present and promotes continuity and stability in the legislative process.


Q1. How long is a term of Senate?
Ans: 06 Years

Q2. How many members does each province have in Senate of Pakistan?
Ans: 23 members

Q3. What are the types of Bills presented in the Senate of Pakistan?
Ans: Bills may further be classified broadly into, Private Members’ Bills introduced in the Senate, Bills Passed by the Senate with Amendments, Bills in which Amendments were proposed by the Standing Committees, Bills referred to the Standing Committees, Government Bills Introduced in the Senate, Bills Received from the National Assembly.

Q4. What are the types of Motions?
Ans: Adjournment Motions and Privilege Motions.

Q5. What is a Bill?
Ans: A Bill can be defined as a legislative proposal in a distinct format, which becomes an Act of Parliament if passed by both the Houses and assented to by the President. Bills can be broadly categorized as private member Bills and Government Bills.

Q6. What is a Resolution?
Ans: The resolutions can be broadly categorized as resolutions not mentioned in the Constitution and the resolutions mentioned in the Constitution. The resolutions not mentioned in the Constitution have been dealt with in rules 132 to 143 and the resolutions mentioned in the Constitution are governed by rules 144 to 148.

Q7. What is Order of the Day?
Ans: The Senate business is transacted, as per rule 27, in the order in which it appears on the Orders of the Day, unless the Chairman directs otherwise. The Secretary prepares Orders of the Day and makes its copy available for use of every member and any other person entitled to speak or participate in the proceedings. He arranges the Government business in such order as the Leader of the House or the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs or any other Minister, authorized by the Leader of the House, intimates a day before the commencement of the sitting. The relative precedence of private members’ Bills is determined by ballot at least five days prior to the day with reference to which the ballot is held.

Q8. What is the quorum to constitute a meeting of Senate of Pakistan?
Ans: One-fourth of the total membership of the Senate is present.

Q9. What is the total limit of questions of a member admitted for a particular day?
Ans: Each member may ask three starred and five unstarred questions for any one day. A member who desires to ask a starred question for any one day has to distinguish it with an asterisk.

Q10. Who was the first Chairman of Senate of Pakistan?
Ans: Mr. Habibullah Khan (tenure: from 06-08-1973 to 04-07-1977)

Q11. Who was the first Deputy Chairman of Senate of Pakistan?
Ans: Mr. Abdul Malik Baloch (tenure: from 26-04-1977 to 04-07-1977)

Q12. Who was the first woman nominated member of the Senate of Pakistan?
Ans: Samia Usman (August 1973 to August 1975)


In conclusion, Pakistan Senate is an important chamber of parliament. This ensures equal representation for each state, improves legislation, controls government finances, and ensures stability through staggered elections.

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