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July 19, 2019

Sanjrani disallows no-trust move against him

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July 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Chairman, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, on Thursday sent a letter to the Opposition Leader Raja Zafar-ul-Haq telling him that a no-confidence move could not be brought during a requisitioned session.

The Senate chairman’s denial of permission to the opposition to move a no-confidence move against him drew the ire of the opposition parties, which assembled at the Parliament House to demonstrate their power to ensure success of their no-confidence move.

According to independent sources, Opposition Leader in the Senate Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq chaired the [opposition parties’] meeting. At least, 54 members of the Senate belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’sParty (PPP), Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and other opposition parties attended the meeting.

In the 104-member House, the opposition requires 53 votes for success of the no-confidence motion. The meeting categorically rejected the government’s request to withdraw the no-confidence motion against the Senate chairman and pledged to go ahead with the earlier plan.

The senators in attendance were asked not to go abroad. They were also told that the senators who were abroad will be reaching Islamabad in a couple of days. Reportedly, Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz met the Opposition Leader Raja Zafarul Haq and Senator Sherry Rehman seeking withdrawal of no-confidence and telling them that the opposition would suffer defeat in their strategy.

Raja Zafarul Haq also briefed the senators about their strategy for the success of no-confidence motion. Talking informally to newsmen, Raja Zafarul Haq claimed that 55 senators had attended the meeting which was beyond his expectations. He said senators Sajid Mir, Hafiz Abdul Kari and Talha Mahmood had also returned from abroad.

“The meeting also pledged complete support to Mir Hasil Bizenjo as their joint candidate,” he said. He said the senators had also rejected pressure being exerted by some institutions adding that Bizenjo would be raised to the slot of the Senate chairman by a big majority.

Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said changing the Senate chairman would be the first nail in the government’s coffin. “We are united and will succeed in our strategy,” he said. Senator Sherry Rehman said seven PPP senators were present in the meeting, while Farooq H. Naek could not turn up because he was attending proceedings in a court.

Questioning the government’s claims to foil the no-confidence move, she said as to how the government would do so when the opposition had clear majority in the House. She said it will be an unconstitutional act if the government did anything wrong in the darkness of night.

She said senators Yousaf Badini, Ali Jamote and Quraatul Ain will also be reaching Islamabad, while Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Farooq H. Naek were also in Islamabad. “How the government will break our 66 members, who were elected on the opposition parties tickets?” she questioned.

She said Sanjrani was morally bound to resign, as apparently he had lost confidence of the majority. Senator Mushahidullah Khan said at least 54 senators attended the committee adding that the opposition senators would not bow to any pressure to change their stance.

Senator Hasil Bizenjo told newsmen that the government would not be able to break any opposition member from his party. He asked if horse-trading and blackmail to frustrate the no-confidence move against the Senate chairman would not be a violation of the Constitution. “It is the prime minister himself who is committing a violation of the Constitution,” he maintained.

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