ISLAMABAD  -    As the controversy over the removal of Senate chairman is not going to settle down, the opposition in the upper house on Monday responded to the objections raised by the Senate Secretariat to its requisition for a session to move a no-confidence motion against Sadiq Sanjrani.

In his response to the secretary Senate, Leader of Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq in a letter said that the two letters submitted to Senate Secretariat on July 9 may be treated as one for the purpose of the summoning of the session.

“In order to remove the confusion created by your letter under reply, both letters which have been submitted on 9th July, 2019 may be read in conjunction with each other and may be treated as one letter for the purpose of the requisitioning of the Senate in terms of Article 54 (3) read with Article 61 of the Constitution of Pakistan and notice of a motion for leave to move a resolution...for removal of the Chairman Senate,” the letter said.

It further said that the opposition hoped that the session would be summoned immediately on the receipt of this letter.

The opposition on July 9 had submitted two letters to the secretary Senate, one for the requisition of the session under Article 54 (3) read with Article 61 of the Constitution and other for removal of the Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani under Rules 12 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012. The second letter included a no-confidence resolution for removal of the chairman. However, requisition of the session was sought in both the letters.

In a letter written to the opposition, the Senate secretariat on Saturday said that it has received two separate requisitions for summoning of the session by the chairman.

“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 written to parliamentary leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the house Ms Sherry Rehman said.

It further 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.

Senator Sherry Rehman told The Nation that opposition has informed the secretary Senate that there should be no confusion over the matter. “One was a requisition, other was a motion for leave to move a resolution to remove the chairman Senate,” she said.

Meanwhile, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani held important meetings here with Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and federal minister Faisal Vawda. He held a separate meeting with ruling PTI’s Dr Babar Awan. Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak also accompanied the CM KP.

On the occasion, Usman Buzdar put his weight behind the latter in connection with the no-trust move filed against him by the opposition.

“The elected representatives of Punjab have full confidence in Sanjrani and we believe that the no-trust against him would not be successful,” the Senate secretariat said in a statement quoting Buzdar. He further said that this was a time to implement the development agenda through unity and not to weaken the democratic process by creating differences.

The CM Punjab further said that chairman Senate was struggling for the right of the federating units and had a role in creating unanimity among the provinces.

In his response, Sanjrani said that Upper House was the symbol of federation and he would continue raising voice of the federating units in an effective manner so that the less-privileged could be brought into the mainstream of development process.

Meanwhile, Senate Secretariat suggested the chairman Senate that he could seek legal opinion from the Law Ministry “to clear the confusion over the silent rules whether a no-trust motion could be moved against chairman in a requisitioned session.”

In its preliminary report, the Senate secretariat viewed that the matter of no-confidence could not be brought in the requisitioned session, the sources privy to the development informed. It has further pointed out the opposition has not given the notice to move the motion along with the resolution of no-confidence.

The secretariat has said that only matters of public interest could be discussed in the requisitioned session and no-trust move could only be brought in the regular session.