ISLAMABAD   -   As the anti-government Rehbar Committee Friday reached a consensus to remove Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, the opposition parties in the 104-member house have more votes than the required number to bring the new chairman.

The opposition parties required at least 53 votes to get passed a resolution from the house for the removal of chairman Senate.

Presently, the house consists of 103 members as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator-elect Ishaq Dar has not taken oath of his office for being out of the country and is living a life in self-exile.

The opposition parties’ Rehbar Committee announced that it would move a no-confidence resolution against chairman Senate on July 9 and will announce a joint candidate of chairman on July 11.

The opposition parties have at least 63 votes to make successful its resolution against the chairman with PML-N having 30 senators, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) 20 senators, National Party five, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) four, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) two, and Awami National Party (ANP) having one senator. The votes of an independent Senator Mir Yousaf Badini would go to opposition as he represents PPP.

Out of the 30 senators of PML-N, its 13 lawmakers fall in the category of independents as their party tickets had been cancelled as following a legal controversy while Senator Shamim Afridi who belonged to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) had later joined PML-N.

Jamaat-e-Islami is an opposition party with having two senators but it is not clear whether it would go against Sanjrani or not as earlier, the religio-political party had not joined the opposition’s June 26 multi-party conference (MPC).

On the other hand, the treasury benches have 38 votes if seven 7 lawmakers from FATA and eight independents from Balochistan vote in its favour. On treasury, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has 14 lawmakers, Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) five, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) two and PML-Functional (PML-F) has one lawmaker. Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), an ally of PTI in the federal government has also one member in the Senate.

The Rule 12 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012 says: “not less than one-fourth of the total membership of the House may give to the Secretary notice in writing of a motion for leave to move a resolution under Article 61 read with paragraph (c) of clause (7) of Article 53 of the Constitution for the removal from office of the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman and the Secretary shall forthwith circulate the notice to the members.”

The rule further says that the “Chairman or, as the case   may be, Deputy Chairman shall stand removed from his office on the resolution being passed by a majority of the total membership of the Senate.”

On March 12, 2018, Sanjrani, an independent senator from Balochistan, had been elected as chairman Senate by securing 57 votes with the backing of an undeclared alliance between the PPP and PTI. He had defeated PML-N-backed candidate Raja Zafarul Haq who could bag only 46 votes despite the fact that his party was the majority party in the house. Sanjrani was the first one from Balochistan who became the chairman Senate.

In return, PPP got elected its Senator Salim Mandviwalla as deputy chairman.  He had received 54 votes by defeating his opponent Usman Kakar of PkMAP who had got 44 votes.

 

REHBAR COMMITTEE HOLDS ITS MAIDEN MEETING

 

Opposition parties have decided to submit a resolution in the Senate secretariat on July 9 for the removal of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani.

This decision was taken at the maiden meeting of the opposition parties’ newly formed Rehbar Committee held here on Friday. The committee also made JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani as its convener for a period of two months.

While talking to media after the meeting, Durrani said that main agenda of the meeting was to replace the Senate chairman and devise a plan to launch countrywide protests against the government and its policies.

The JUI-F leader explained that all opposition parties have consensus over replacing the Senate chairman and they are all set to move a resolution in the Senate secretariat on July 9 in this regard.

He said that he had been made as a convener of the ‘Rehbar committee’ for the next two months and this position will be changing among all the opposition parties after a phase of two months.

Talking about the protests and demonstrations plan, Durrani said that opposition would mark July 25 as a ‘Black Day’ and number of protests will take place in different cities in order to expose, what he said, the bad governance of the government and all the members of committee would take part in the protests.

While showing reservations and concerns over the political situation in the country, he said, “A new political system is going to be introduced in the country, which is not acceptable for all the opposition parties.”

Talking about the elections in the erstwhile FATA areas, Durrani said that they were not in favour of posting army soldiers inside the polling stations that was why they have rejected this act.

He revealed that the Rehbar Committee has demanded production orders of the two MNAs from Wazirstan. It also showed its reservations on the NAB activities with special reference to the arrest of PML-L MNA Rana Sanaullah.

Answering a question regarding new political system, former Prime Minister and member of the Rehbar Committee Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi said that the new political system means the presidential system which is expected to be imposed in the country.

While criticizing the remarks of Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the production orders PPP leader Nayyar Bukhari, Abbasi said that it was not the right of the PM to issue or stop the production orders of any MNA.

The meeting was attended by the JUI-F’s Akram Khan Durrani, PML-N’s Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi, Ihsan Abbasi, ANP’s Mian Iftikhar Hussain, PkMAP’s Usman Kakar, PPP’s Nayyar Bukhari, Farhatullah, QWP’s Hashim Babar, NP’s Tahir Bizenjo and Awais Noorani of the JUP.

The next meeting of the ‘Rehbar Committee’ is expected to be held in Islamabad on July 11.