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July 21, 2019

On opposition’s requisition: Sanjrani summons Senate session on 23rd

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July 21, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, on Saturday summoned the opposition’s requisitioned session on Tuesday, as he faces the ‘threat’ of the no-trust motion.

The Upper House of Parliament meets at 3:00pm at the Parliament House with the battle lines clearly drawn with regard to Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Salim Mandviwala, against whom the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its allies had filed a similar move in response to the joint opposition’s resolution. However, there is no mention of the agenda on the notification, issued by the Senate Secretariat, carrying signatures of Secretary Muhammad Anwar. The opposition parties had submitted the motion on July 9, whereas the treasury benches had done so against Mandviwala on July 12. After submission of the requisition application, the chairman Senate is bound to summon the session within 14 days. “The requisitioned session in majority cases is prorogued the same day and the upcoming session may not be any different. And, keeping in view the contents of the Senate chairman’s letter to the opposition leaders, he can disallow the opposition to even move the related resolution in the House,” parliamentary sources told The News.

There has been correspondence between the chairman and the joint opposition, which also suggested that there is no possibility of reconciliation at the eleventh hour. Sanjrani contends that in a requisitioned session, a no-trust motion could not be entertained, whereas the combined opposition insists it could be. Leader of the Opposition Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, who belongs to the PML-N, held a meeting with the chairman Senate recently during which he called on him to bow out.

In his letter to the parliamentary leaders of opposition parties, Sanjrani contended that there is no procedure in the Constitution for removal of chairman and deputy chairman Senate. He, however, said he was prepared to face the opposition’s submitted no-trust move. He emphasized that all should ensure proper conduct during this entire process so as not to weaken the sanctity of the chair’s ruling. “Not for myself, but for the Senate of Pakistan, the country and its goodwill abroad, I am standing up, as individuals may come and go but the institutions, traditions and procedures stay,” he said.

The combined opposition is apparently comfortable to see the motion through, as it needs a total of 53 votes to get the no-trust resolution passed, while it has 67 members in the House and enjoys a clear majority. The voting is done through a secret ballot. The incumbent chairman Senate was elected on March 12 last year with the support of PTI and PPP.

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