ISLAMABAD: The PPP on Friday submitted yet another requisition to summon the session of the Senate, this time with the support of PTI, to discuss Israeli atrocities on Palestinians in Gaza.

The single item on the proposed agenda is to discuss “the Israeli atrocities and aggressive actions against innocent Palestinians and willing violation of the Geneva Convention & UN Resolution on Palestine, and especially barbaric Israeli airstrikes on Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza….” the unfolding situation in Gaza.

Sources told Dawn that as many as 16 senators from the PTI have also signed the requisition, taking the total number of signatories to 44, 18 more than required for summoning the session.

Sources said PPP, with the backing of JUI-F, National Party, JI and PkMAP, had the numbers to requisition a session even without PTI, but chose to wait for party in the light of their past experience.

The last session of the Senate was held on Aug 9 — days before caretakers came in. Two recent attempts by the PPP to summon the upper house session failed due to a behind-the-scenes role allegedly played by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

The Senate Secretariat, in an unprecedented move last month, had rejected the requisition to discuss the Jaranwala violence targeting the Christian community.

The reason for the rejection, which left many senators red-faced, is said to be the “unmatched signatures” of some of the 27 members who had signed the requisition, raising questions on the Secretariat’s authority to verify signatures without approaching the members concerned.

Another requisition was submitted on Sept 18, but this attempt also failed after five of the six senators from parties other than PPP, withdrew their signatures from the requisition aimed to discuss “skyrocketing inflation and inflated electricity bills causing grave concern and unrest among the general public”, according to the Senate Secretariat.

Leader of the House in the Senate, Ishaq Dar, has also written to the Senate chairman, seeking a session to discuss the Palestine situation.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2023

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