News Desk |
Surprising as it may seem, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have joined hands to dethrone the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani – a senator from Balochistan who had defeated PML-N’s candidate with the help of PPP and others in the Senate elections.
Sanjrani, a little-known opposition candidate was elected as Senate chairman in March 2018. He had got 57 votes out of a total 103, while PML-N’s candidate Raja Zafarul Haq bagged 46 votes. Interestingly, PPP, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others had backed Sanjrani but PPP’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was mostly credited with engineering Sanjrani’s victory.
Bilawal and Maryam agreed that it was time to take down the government as the budget it had proposed would “cause irreparable damage to the country”.
In the latest development, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz have agreed to oust Sanjrani during a meeting in Lahore on June 16. The two political scions met after Maryam invited Bilawal for lunch at Jati Umrah – the home of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif for a lunch meeting on Sunday.
The media reports while quoting sources said that Maryam and Bilawal have agreed to remove Sanjrani, adding that the new name will be considered after consultation with the opposition parties. Senate chairman not only regulates the upper house proceedings but also becomes acting president in the absence of the president of Pakistan. At the moment, the opposition is said to be in a comfortable position to not only remove but bring in a candidate of its choice.
A majority of 53 members is required to remove the Senate chairman. Currently, the media reported, PPP, PML-N, National Party and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have 46 members in the Senate, while there are 29 independent senators. The Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) has two members, while the Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and PML-Functional have one member each. The ruling PTI has 14 members. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has five and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has two senators.
Sanjrani vs Raja Zafarul Haq
In March 2018, Senator Sanjrani was backed by the joint opposition, including the PPP, PTI, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), and independents from Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). On the other hand, PML-N veteran Raja Zafarul Haq was nominated by the then ruling party – PML-N – and supported by its coalition partners.
Interestingly, PPP, PTI and others had backed Sanjrani but PPP’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was mostly credited with engineering Sanjrani’s victory.
Interestingly, PML-N had offered PPP to re-elect Raza Rabbani as Senate chairman but back then PPP had opted to join hands with PTI in the elections.
Currently, Bilawal and Maryam agreed that it was time to take down the government as the budget it had proposed would “cause irreparable damage to the country”. The media reports suggested that the PML-N and PPP have decided to start the anti-government campaign with the removal of the Senate chairman and bringing in a joint candidate afterwards.
Zardari, Imran ‘pawns of the establishment’
Following the Senate elections in 2018, the media reported, the ex-Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had accepted that it was going to be a close race but expressed satisfaction “because puppets of the non-democratic forces have been exposed.”
PML-N had offered PPP to re-elect Raza Rabbani as Senate chairman but back then PPP had opted to join hands with PTI in the elections.
He had accused Zardari and Imran Khan of being “pawns of the establishment. Explaining Nawaz Sharif’s proposal for the candidacy of PPP’s Raza Rabbani, he had said that the party knew it would never happen as “the nomination was never in the hands of Zardari, and forces he [Zardari] has sold himself to would never allow [Rabbani’s candidacy].”
Maryam, Bilawal meeting has no link with democracy: Firdous Ashiq Awan
Following the meeting between Bilawal and Maryam, the media reported, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the meeting between the convicted princess of Sharif family’s throne and the crown prince of the state of Zardaris at Raiwind palace had no link with democracy.
For the satisfaction of courts, Awan hoped on Twitter that the two would give a clear agenda for bringing back the absconding brothers of Maryam and other Sharif family members and inform the nation about it.
“The nation is fully aware of the harsh reality that both the PML-N and the PPP have started the process of transferring politics and property to their next generations and this gathering is a step towards achievement of that goal,” she said.