ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Saturday formally moved a request with signatures of more than 40 senators to Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani to allocate the Leader of Opposition slot in the Upper House to Raja Zafarul Haq.

Sources aware of the development informed The Nation that the move was in quick response to Pakistan People’s Party’s withdrawal of the support to PML-N candidate for the election of Leader of House in National Assembly on Friday last(August 17).

After the Senate elections in March this year, the then ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had made Raja Zafarul Haq Leader of House in Senate and now with the change of guards in the federal government, the position of Leader of the House would go to some ruling party senator.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was having the backing of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National Party. Right now the PML-N has some 33 members in the Senate while JUI-F 4, PkMAP 3 and National Party 5 members. Jamaat-i-Islami and Awami National Party have also one member each but their support to PML-N candidate for Leader of Opposition was not sure.

Right now, the slot of Leader of Opposition in Senate was with Pakistan People’s Party Senator Sherry Rehman who was elected to the post after the elections to the Upper House in March this year.

And now as the party with a strength of only 20 senators the slot would go to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for which a written request was already moved to Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani.

An official of Senate Secretariat confirmed receiving of the application and as Chairman Senate was out of the station and would be returning back on Sunday so most likely the formal notification of Raja Zafarul Haq as Leader of Opposition in Senate would be made on Monday.

NA SPEAKER DISCUSSES

STRATEGY WITH LEADERS

Newly-elected Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser on Saturday contacted parliamentary leaders of the lower house to discuss the strategy to smoothly run proceedings of the house in the future.

Qaiser, in a telephonic contact with parliamentary leaders, discussed the messy situation in the house during the election of leader of the house.

The lawmakers of PTI and PML-N, on the day of election for the leader of the house, created rumpus with sloganeering during the speeches of Prime Minister Imran Khan and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif.

The speaker National Assembly contacted PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, PML-N’s Rana Tanvir, MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbol Siddique, PML-Q’s Tahir Bashir Cheema, BNP-Mengal’s Sardar Akhtar Mengal, AML Chief Sheikh Rashid, Balcohistan Awami Party (BAP)’s Khalid Magsi, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA)’s Asad Mehmood, Jamhori Watan Party (JWP)’s Shah Zain Bugti .

“Keeping sanctity of the house intact is the prime responsibility of all lawmakers,” said the speaker, mentioning protest is the right of opposition parties. “Difference of opinion is the beauty of democracy but sanctity is very important,” he said. 

The speaker also met former speaker national assembly Fehmida Mirza and former deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi.