ISLAMABAD - Key players in the ruling PML-N are busy trying to ensure the presence of party senators as well as persuading all other parties’ leadership to ensure their parliamentarians’ presence in the Senate on March 28 to get the 28th Constitutional Amendment passed.

The vote on this amendment, which will restore special military courts for another two years to try terrorists, could not take place earlier on March 22 due to want of requisite number.

Sources in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that they were engaging all the political stakeholders to get the amendment passed this time.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other senior PML-N ministers were in contact with the leadership of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and other political parties to ensure the presence of their senators for tomorrow’s vote.

A senior PML-N leader said that it was the collective responsibility of the political parties to ensure presence of their members but the matter was deferred because requisite two-third majority was not available in support of it.

Parliamentary sources informed The Nation that the government faced embarrassment last week over its failure to get the amendment passed.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had especially come to see the Upper House pass the amendment. The government even failed to ensure the full strength of its own senators, while its coalition partners – the JUI-F and the PMAP which have five and three senators respectively – also declined to support the move.

Sources said the PM had expressed his displeasure over this mismanagement displayed by his ministers and he directed Ishaq Dar to ensure passage of the amendment on Tuesday.

Nawaz Sharif was also annoyed over the way JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and PkMAP chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai had refused to support the legislation.

Had all the eight senators of these coalition partners voted for it on March 22, the amendment would have been through from the Upper House – as with the inclusion of these senators the figure would have crossed the two-third requisite strength in the house of 104.

In the parliamentary parties huddle, held under the chair of National Assembly speaker, the decision of granting extension to the military courts was taken with a few voices of dissent from the JUI-F, the PkMAP, the BNP-M and a few others. All the other parliamentary parties were unanimous in granting two more years to the military courts.

A source in the ruling party said that against this backdrop it was the responsibility of all the political parties and not only that of the ruling PML-N to get the amendment passed.

Party sources were confident that the PML-N and the PPP with the support of the Fata members, the ANP and the PTI could easily manage the two-third majority, which is 70 of total 104 house votes.