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Opposition's Rehbar Committee announces Mir Hasil Bizenjo as candidate for Senate chairman

Updated July 11, 2019

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Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) leader Akram Khan Durrani speaks at a press conference after a meeting of the Rehbar Committee in Islamabad on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) leader Akram Khan Durrani speaks at a press conference after a meeting of the Rehbar Committee in Islamabad on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

The opposition's 'Rehbar Committee' on Thursday agreed to name Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo as the opposition's joint candidate for the position of Senate chairman.

The decision was taken in a committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) leader Akram Khan Durrani in Islamabad today. The meeting was attended by senior members of opposition parties, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Farhatullah Babar, Nayyar Bukhari, Usman Kakar and Ahsan Iqbal, among others.

Bizenjo later met PML-N leaders in the opposition leader's chambers in Parliament House to express his gratitude for the nomination.

"I appreciate that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif placed his trust in me," he told PML-N leaders.

Bizenjo also called PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif to thank him for the nomination.

"I am extremely grateful for being nominated by the PML-N," he said. "I hope to deliver on the expectations of the opposition parties."

Later, while speaking to the media, he said: "Winning and losing may be part of the election process, but I already feel like I've won with the faith placed in me."

"After my nomination, I will get a lot of votes from Balochistan," claimed Bizenjo, who also hails from the province.

To a question asking if he would seek support from the government coalition, Bizenjo said, "We are politicians: we knock on doors even when we expect no response."

The Rehbar Committee had last met on July 5 but failed to reach a consensus on a joint candidate. Durrani had said that a final name will be announced on July 11 (today) after further deliberation.

The opposition took the decision to remove the chairman of the upper house at a multi-party conference on June 26. The move is meant to be the first step towards mounting pressure on the PTI-led coalition government.

Opposition members submitted a no-confidence resolution against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Tuesday and demanded his removal under Rule 12 (Removal of Chairman or Deputy Chairman) of the Rules of Procedure in Conduct of Business in the Senate.

After the submission of the resolution, Senate Chairman Sanjrani had declared that he will not step down voluntarily.

"A motion of no-confidence is a democratic right," he remarked.

"I have no reservations about the resolution being submitted," he said. "I am still here and doing my job."

It is for the first time in the country’s history that a move is under way to remove a Senate chairman from office.