ISLAMABAD - The joint opposition in the Senate on Thursday said that the government’s repeated claims to defeat the no-trust move against Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani were “unconstitutional and nothing short of an admission of its involvement in horse-trading”.

In a show of power, the opposition parties in the Upper House met at the Parliament House to discuss a strategy to make successful their no-confidence motion filed against chairman Senate on July 9.

The meeting that was attended by at least 54 lawmakers out of 67 members of opposition in the 104–member house also rejected the ruling PTI’s request to withdraw no-trust move and declared that the “change is not inevitable now.”

Under the rules of business of the house, at least 53 members are required to remove the chairman Senate from his office.

The huddle that was chaired by leader of the opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq said that their today’s attendance was sufficient to remove the chairman Senate from his office. The opposition leader gave a detailed briefing to the participants on the strategy to make successful the no-trust move and advised the lawmakers not to leave the country from now.

The sources said that the meeting also observed that the treasury was “continuously spreading disinformation” by giving public statements that it would not only defeat the move but also remove opposition’s Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Nandviwalla from his office through a similar no-trust motion filed already.

The moot rejected the claim made by Sanjrani in his recent letter written to the parliamentary leader of PPP in the house Senator Sherry Rehman that a no-confidence motion cannot be moved in a requisitioned session. It decided that a response to the letter would be given soon after consulting legal experts.

Senator Sherry Rehman speaking in the meeting said that the presence of members required to remove the chairman Senate had exposed the government’s tactics to defeat the move. She questioned that how the government was saying that it would defeat the move while it was in minority in the house? “What is their procedure to defeat the move,” she said adding that their claim of defeating the motion was nothing short of an admission of involvement in horse-trading. “Their claims are unconstitutional and illegal and open violation of law because we have shown our number.”

She said that how the government wanted to get the senators defected who have elected on opposition parties’ tickets?

Senator Rehman claimed that the some opposition lawmakers were being pressurized through phone calls and others were being lured to defect.

“This is called horse-trading plus,” she said adding that this was the worst way to humiliate Senate and they were being wrongly blamed by the government to make controversial the Upper House. Talking to reporters after the meeting, the parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the house Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan said the opposition would not succumb to any pressure or threat in this regard and remain united. He said the removal of chairman Senate would be the beginning of the incumbent government’s ouster.

The joint candidate of opposition for the office of chairman Senate Mir Hasil Bizenjo said on the occasion that the attempts to convert opposition’s majority in the house into minority would fail.