Senators of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its allies on Friday submitted a no-confidence resolution in the Senate secretariat against Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla.
The resolution is backed by at least 26 senators, PTI Senator Shibli Faraz told reporters. The senators have demanded Mandviwalla's removal under Rule 12 (Removal of Chairman or Deputy Chairman) of the Rules of Procedure in Conduct of Business in the Senate and Article 61, read along with Article 53(7)(c).
The move comes three days after senators of the opposition parties submitted a no-confidence resolution against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani along with a requisition to convene the Upper House for a session where a motion of no-confidence can be initiated.
Talking to reporters today, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said that following the opposition's step to remove Sanjrani, members of government had a meeting with the prime minister.
"Our stance is that when they did not honour our votes [that were cast in favour of Sanjrani] and withdrew their support for the Senate chairman, we will withdraw our support for the deputy chairman," he said.
He said that Sanjrani had run the Upper House "with dignity" for the past one and a half year and there was "no reason to remove him".
Khattak also denied allegations of horse trading, saying that "15-20 members in the Senate are completely independent".
Reacting to the no-confidence resolution against him, Senate Deputy Chairman Mandviwalla said: "If members of the Senate think I should not remain in office, I will step down happily."
He added that some senators had told him that they were "told to sign the resolution".
"This has never happened in the Senate before; this is a strange tradition that is not good for the Senate," he remarked.