Efforts on to get Senate no-trust move dropped

Published July 18, 2019
Efforts are afoot to persuade the opposition to withdraw its no-confidence motion against the chairman of the Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani (right). — APP/File
Efforts are afoot to persuade the opposition to withdraw its no-confidence motion against the chairman of the Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani (right). — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Efforts are afoot to persuade the opposition to withdraw its no-confidence motion against the chairman of the Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani.

Informed sources told Dawn that the leader of the house in the Senate, Syed Shibli Faraz, held meetings with the leader of the opposition in the house, Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, and Pakistan Peoples Party parliamentary leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman, seeking the withdrawal of the no-confidence motion and warning that the opposition was bound to lose face if this were not done. He said that the move would prove counterproductive and a counter-offensive may lead to the removal from office of Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla. Further, Mr Faraz said that a no-trust motion had never been moved against the Senate chairman in the country’s parliamentary history, and emphasised that the dignity, history and tradition of the Senate need to be preserved.

Read: Voting on no-trust motions in Senate next week

In a related development, Mr Sanjrani called on the leader of the opposition in the Senate, Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq.The opposition’s joint candidate for the office of chairman of Senate, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, was also present.

When contacted, Mr Haq described this as a routine courtesy call saying that Mr Sanjrani often comes to meet him. Later, in a brief chat with reporters, Mr Sanjrani said that the Senate session will be convened in consultation with the opposition.

Sanjrani says motion cannot be tabled in requisitioned session

Mr Sanjrani also wrote a letter to PPP parliamentary leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman, observing that a no-confidence motion cannot be moved in a requisitioned session.

“A detailed examination of the Constitutional provision, rules, standing orders and ruling of former chairman [of the] Senate dated 10th February, 2016, reveals that a session of the Senate can be requisitioned under Article 61 read with clause (3) of Article 54 of the Constitution to discuss an issue through a motion under Rule 218 of the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Senate, 2012, and not for a resolution under Article 61 read with paragraph (e) of clause (7) of Article 53 of the Constitution…”, says the letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn. It says that the notice of a motion to proceed towards leave to move a resolution under Article 61, read with Article 53 (7) (e) of the Constitution, annexed with the opposition’s requisition, had already been circulated and the secretariat had forwarded the same to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs for the summoning of a session.

“In view of the above-mentioned, members will only be allowed to discuss ‘to move [a] resolution under Rule 12 for the removal of the chairman’, which I am certain is not the intent of the opposition, therefore you may provide some issues of public importance for discussion during the requisitioned session or keeping in view that notice of a motion to move for leave to move a resolution under Article 61 read with paragraph (e) of clause (7) of Article 53 of the Constitution is already under process with the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, may want to withdraw the requisition and wait for the regular session for moving the said motion”, the letter reads.

Upon being contacted, Mr Faraz confirmed his contact with key opposition leaders in the Senate and said that the PTI was ready to counter the no-trust motion if sense did not prevail. He said that many senators belonging to the opposition were displeased with the no-trust motion, and the results of the secret ballot would show that many voted in line with their conscience. He insisted that a no-confidence motion cannot be moved in a requisitioned session, adding that when a no-confidence motion is moved during an ongoing session, voting is to take place within seven days.

PPP parliamentary leader Senator Sherry Rehman, who chaired a meeting of PPP senators here at the parliament house, later told reporters that the opposition had sufficient numbers to get a no-trust motion passed by the house. “We have 66 members, they are all turning in”, she remarked, saying that some opposition members who were out of the country would be back by Thursday [today] when a meeting of the joint opposition in the Senate is scheduled to evolve a strategy on the no-trust motion.

“If they think they can break the numbers, they are mistaken,” she remarked. “This also amounts to horse-trading.”

In the evening, some 49 senators from the opposition attended a tea party hosted by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...
Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

Mobs turn into executioners due to the authorities’ helplessness before these elements.
Persistent scourge
28 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...