ISLAMABAD: The Senate secretariat on Monday agreed in principle to remove a technical objection to the opposition’s requisition for moving a no-trust motion against Senate Chairman Mohammad Sadiq Sanjrani, informed sources told Dawn.
The sources said the opposition in the upper house of parliament had earlier held a meeting to discuss and draft a response to the secretariat’s objection to submission of two separate requisitions for summoning the Senate session.
Following the meeting, which was presided over by Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Mohammad Zafarul Haq, a written response to the objection was submitted to the secretariat. It stated that the two letters received on July 9 be read in conjunction with each other and treated as the letter for the purpose of the requisitioning of the Senate in terms of Article 54(3), read with Article 61 of the Constitution, and notice of a motion for leave to move a resolution under Article 61, read with Article 53 of the Constitution, for removal of the Senate chairman as required under Rule 12 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012.
Opposition files response to objection; Sanjrani meets NA speaker, Punjab CM
“We hope immediately on the receipt of this letter, a date for summoning of the session of the Senate shall be announced in terms of Article 54 (3) of the Constitution of Pakistan,” read the letter signed by the opposition leader in the Senate.
The secretariat had raised an objection to the requisition submitted by the opposition for summoning of a session, along with the no-trust motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
“I am directed to state that Senate secretariat has received two separate requisitions for summoning of the session of the Senate by the Senate chairman, under Clause 3 of Article 54, read with Article 61 of the Constitution…,” stated a letter received by PPP’s parliamentary leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman from the secretariat on Saturday.
It said the procedure regarding the receipt of two requisitions for summoning of the session by the same members at the same time was not covered by the Constitution and the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the house. “Therefore, you are required to kindly intimate this secretariat as to which one of the two requisitions signed by you shall be processed by the Senate secretariat for summoning under the Constitution, rules and standing orders of the Senate session. Further action will be taken on receipt of your reply,” the letter issued by the secretariat added.
The opposition rejected the move as a mere delaying tactic and announced it would insist the Senate secretariat not to create confusions and abide by the rules.
Talking to Dawn on Monday, the PPP parliamentary leader said the Senate secretariat had agreed in principle to remove the objection to the opposition’s requisition submitted on July 9. It had also agreed to convene a session within 14 days of its receipt, Ms Rehman said.
The opposition leader in the Senate, who also confirmed the development, said a seven-member committee had been formed to keep in contact with other members. He said the committee would continue to work till the day the no-trust motion against Mr Sanjrani was moved in the house.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaisar and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar met the Senate chairman and assured him of their support.
CM Buzdar, during his meeting with Mr Sanjrani, said the elected representatives from Punjab had a complete confidence in his chairmanship and expressed the hope that the no-trust motion against him would be defeated.
He said this was the time for showing unity to implement the agenda of national development and warned against conflicts that weakened the democratic process. He praised Mr Sanjrani for his efforts to protect the rights of the federating units and said he was playing a key role in promoting harmony among the provinces.
NA Speaker Asad Qaisar, during his interaction with the chairman of the upper house, said the opposition should have desisted from moving a no-confidence motion as the Senate was the symbol of federation having equal representation of all the provinces.
Mr Qaiser said that all parties should take steps to strengthen democracy and collectively prepare plans to tackle the problems facing the country.
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019