(MENAFN - Gulf Times) In a significant development, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) have agreed to remove Senate chairman and consider a new name after consultation with the opposition parties.
Sources revealed that the understanding was reached in a meeting between PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz.
Incumbent Senate chairman Muhammed Sadiq Sanjrani was elected with the support of PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) last year as he had bagged 57 votes against 46 by Raja
Zafarul Haq of PML-N.
PML-N is still a majority party in the Senate. Interestingly, the PML-N had offered PPP to re-elect Raza Rabbani as Senate chairman but then it opted to join hands with PTI in the
It is learnt that the opposition in the Senate is in a comfortable position to remove the Senate chairman and bring in a replacement of its choice. The senate chairman's post is significant to regulate the upper house. Likewise, in the absence of president, Senate chairman is the acting president of the country.
A majority of 53 members is required to remove the Senate chairman. Currently, PPP, PML-N, National Party and Jamiat Ulemai 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.
The ANP has demanded the removal of Senate chairman Sanjrani. Talking to media, ANP leader Zahid Khan urged the opposition parties to bring a no-confidence motion against the chairman.
The ANP leader said that initiation of movement against the government should start with the removal of the Senate chairman and a joint candidate should be brought for the
He also said that if Bilawal and Maryam are serious to launch an anti-government drive, then they should remove the chairman and that his party will stand with the opposition on the issue.
He added that if the Sanjrani is not removed, then people will not trust Bilawal and Maryam Nawaz, therefore, to restore the confidence of the opposition parties, the removal is
Bilawal and Maryam agreed in their meeting that it was time to take down the government as the budget it had proposed would 'cause irreparable
damage to the country.
They refreshed their resolve to launch a movement against the government at the earliest.
Bilawal and Maryam alleged that the government had filed references against judges as a pressure tactic and demanded that they should be withdrawn.
They agreed to stand firm in the struggle for the
independence of the judiciary.
The two leaders also demanded that the production orders of all detained members of the national and provincial assemblies should be issued immediately so that they could represent the people who had elected them to their offices.
According to a statement issued after the meeting, the PML-N and the PPP decided that allowing the 'incompetent PTI regime to move ahead with its budget would cause 'irreparable damage to the country and that was why an anti-government movement was necessary.
The two sides also decided that other opposition parties as well as the coalition partners of the PTI that were unhappy with the government's performance would be taken into confidence to chalk out a joint strategy.
Bilawal and Maryam agreed to devise a final plan after consulting the other leaders of their parties.
The senior leadership of the PML-N was absent from the meeting lending credence to reports that Maryam has informally taken over party affairs from her uncle and party president Shehbaz Sharif to run a movement against the
The existence of two camps and two approaches within PML-N is an open secret that the party vehemently denies.