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February 21, 2009
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Saadia Abbasi’s resignation from Senate ‘a unique case’

Karachi

February 21, 2009

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Islamabad

Saadia Abbasi, who tendered her resignation as member of the Senate last week, presents a unique case of protest, as previously no lawmaker bowed out days before the expiry of his or her tenure as a senator.

Balochistan National Party (Mengal’s) Senator Sanaullah Baloch had also resigned last year but for entirely different reasons, and all parties in the House had requested him to review his decision. But Saadia’s resignation is to be accepted before the Senate’s farewell session, likely to be held from March 6.

Saadia, who had made her way to the Upper House on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (Nawaz) ticket in March 2003, dispatched her resignation to the Senate Chairman Mohammadmian Soomro after the party declined to award her ticket afresh.

“Saadia Abbasi has sent her resignation without giving any reason though there is no need for this. She might have elaborated this before media,” the Senate Secretariat Secretary Raja Muhammad Amin said while talking to The News here on Thursday.

Asked had any legislator made exit under protest a few days before the expiry of his or her term, Raja Amin said this was never done before in the past.

The Senate chairman, who is currently in Britain to see his ailing brother-in-law, is expected to be back next week. Only the chairman has the authority to accept a senator’s resignation.

The chairman has to find out if a resignation was factually sent by a particular senator or not before accepting it. In Saadia Abbasi’s case, the resignation has landed at the Senate Secretariat by post, which warrants its verification. Usually, a senator appears before the Senate and presents his or her resignation.

The resigning senator has been active and vocal during the vociferous anti-LFO campaign inside and outside the Parliament. In place of her, the PML-N has awarded the Senate ticket to Begum Najma Hameed, a veteran from Rawalpindi. The decision has

triggered debates in the party ranks on what basis the sister of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was overlooked.

It is interesting to note that she is resigning at a time when there is no possibility of a fresh election against her seat, which was to fall vacant along with 49 other Senate seats on March 11.

Under the rules of the game, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is bound to conduct election against a seat within 30 days, following it falling vacant. Hence, her resignation will not bother the ECP.

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