ISLAMABAD: Amidst reports the opposition is planning to remove him from office, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in the latter’s parliament house chambers on Tuesday, informed sources said.
The sources said that the prime minister during the meeting assured Mr Sanjrani that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) would support him in the wake of any move from the opposition to bring a no-confidence motion against him.
The meeting took place a day after the Awami National Party (ANP) formally demanded removal of Mr Sanjrani as the first step, if the two major opposition parties were serious about launching the anti-government drive.
Maulana Fazl invites government ally to opposition multiparty conference
ANP leader Zahid Khan had urged the opposition parties to bring a no-confidence motion against Mr Sanjrani. “The masses will not trust Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Maryam Nawaz if the Senate chairman is not removed,” he had remarked.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has already announced that his party is arranging a multi-party conference (MPC) of the opposition parties next week to devise an anti-government strategy.
Mr Sanjrani had been elected chairman of the Senate after the PPP’s Raza Rabbani completed his term in office in March last year.
He had bagged 57 votes against 46 secured by his opponent Raja Zafarul Haq of the PML-N. Though the PML-N had offered to support the PPP, if Mr Rabbani was fielded by the PPP as a candidate, the offer was turned down by Asif Ali Zardari.
Reports, however, suggest that the PPP and PML-N leaders in their recent meetings have discussed the plans to de-seat Mr Sanjrani and bring a new chairman of the parliament’s upper house after consulting other opposition parties.
It is believed that the understanding to this effect had been reached during a meeting between PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on Sunday in Lahore.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, when asked to comment on the report about the move to remove Mr Sanjrani, said it was not an easy task. “It is a constitutional post and he can be removed only under the manner enshrined in the Constitution,” she said.
Meanwhile, Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday met Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief Akhtar Mengal and formally invited him to attend the MPC of the opposition parties.
The BNP-M is a part of the ruling coalition, but its members have been attending the opposition’s gatherings regularly, complaining that the ruling party is not implementing the six-point accord which the two parties had reached in August last year at the time of the formation of the federal government.
Talking to reporters, Mr Mengal said his party was not a part of the federal government and had only supported the ruling party in the parliamentary elections. He said the decision to attend the MPC would be taken after intra-party consultations.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019