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March 13, 2018

Meer Sadiq Khan Sanjrani is the youngest-ever Senate Chairman


March 13, 2018

LAHORE: Elected as the Eighth Chairman of Pakistan's Senate Monday, just 32 days ahead of his 40th birthday, Meer Sadiq Khan Sanjrani (born April 14, 1978) happens to be the youngest-ever head of the country's Upper House of Parliament; research conducted by the "Jang Group and Geo Television Network" shows.

New Senate Chairman's brief profile: Hailing from the Khan Bahadur family of Sanjrani tribe in Pakistan's largest Chaghi district (Area: 44,748 square kilometres and population of 226,008), Sadiq Sanjrani was elected as a senator on an independent ticket just nine days ago on March 3, 2018.

We all know that on May 28, 1998, Pakistan had conducted five simultaneous underground nuclear tests at the Ras Koh Hills in the Chaghi District. For the slot of Senate chairman, Sadiq was supported by PPP, PTI, MQM-P, independent candidates from Balochistan and FATA.

Sadiq Sanjrani is the Chief Executive of Messrs Sanjrani Mining Company, and is serving as Director/Chairman Human Resource Committee of the National Industrial Parks Development & Management Company and The Hub Power Company (HUBCO).

He also worked as Director on several Sui Southern Gas Company boards along with Export Processing Zone Authority and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal.

The Sanjrani Tribe: According to Facebook, Sanjrani is a Baloch tribe of Rind origin. It is settled in Balochistan, Sindh, Afghanistan and Iran.

Sanjrani tribe living in Sindh speaks Sindhi, Seraiki and Balochi languages. They are mostly settled in Balochistan's Chagai District and claim to be the indigenous resident from more than 400 years.

The present chief of Sanjrani tribe is Sardar Taj Muhammad Khan Sanjrani.

Past Chairmen of Senate:

While the first Chairman of the Senate was a former Peshawar High Court arbiter, Justice (retired) Habibullah Khan Marwat (1901-1978), the nearly 77-year old Wasim Sajjad remains the longest-serving chairman of this prestigious House from December 24, 1988 to October 12, 1999.

Habibullah Marwat, who also served as Interior Minister during Ayub Khan's regime, had served two terms as Chairman of the Senate from August 6, 1973 to July 4, 1977 during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's administration.

former Pakistani President Ghulam Ishaq Khan had served as Senate chief from March 21,1985 to December 12, 1988, Mohammed Mian Soomro had called shots between March 23, 2003 and March 11, 2009, Farooq H. Naek from March 12, 2009 to March 11, 2012, Nayyar Bukhari from March 12, 2012 to March 12, 2015 and Raza Rabbani from March 12, 2015 to March 18, 2018.

It is imperative to note that the Chairman of the Senate is the second in the line of succession to the President of Pakistan, ahead of the Speaker National Assembly (Lower House of Parliament).

Senate membership:

The membership of the Senate, which was originally 45, was raised to 63 in 1977 and to 87 in 1985. In 2002, the membership rose to 100 through the August 21, 2002 Legal Framework Order (LFO), and now this House comprises of 104 members.

The current salaries, perks and privileges of Pakistani parliamentarians:

On November 23, 2016, the federal government had approved a staggering increase of up to 146 per cent in the salary of members of parliament, as the members of the National Assembly and the Senate had just had two pay rises, in the form of ad hoc relief, in 14 years (2002 to 2016).

The salary of members of the National Assembly and the Senate was raised in November 2016 from Rs 60,996 to Rs150, 000 — a rise of 145.9 per cent.

The cabinet had also approved a 26 per cent rise in the salary of the National Assembly speaker and the Senate chairman (from Rs162,659 to Rs205,000) and a 23 per cent rise in the salary of the deputy speaker and deputy chairman of the two houses of the parliament (from Rs150,454 to Rs185,000).

The salary of federal ministers was raised from Rs126, 387 to Rs200,000 (58 per cent), and the salary of state ministers from Rs116,909 to Rs180,000 (54 per cent). The salary increases had become effective from October 1, 2016.

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