ISLAMABAD - In yet another show of power in less than a week, 62 lawmakers of opposition parties in the Senate Monday gathered at the Parliament House as part of their efforts to remove Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani from his office.

The lawmakers congregated at the luncheon hosted by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif in order to show the strength of opposition in the Senate for the removal of chairman Senate.

Besides senators, a few members of the National Assembly and senior leaders of PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) participated in the moot. They included former prime minister and PPP leader Raja Pervaiz Asharf and PML-N’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Tanveer, Marriyum Aurengzeb, and Ashan Iqbal.

Separately, opposition’s Rahbar Committee met in the chair of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leader Akram Khan Durrani to deliberate on the removal of chairman Senate and make a strategy for the opposition’s July 25 protest. The meeting also discussed arrest of politician by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the government’s curbs on media. The participants decided that the committee would protest in front of NAB office against the arrest of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as he was member of the committee.

On July 18, opposition’s 54 senators had met in the chair of Leader of Opposition in the Senate Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq. The meeting had rejected the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s request to withdraw no-trust move against Sanjrani and declared that the “change is inevitable now.”

The opposition needs at least 53 votes to remove chairman Senate from his office in the 104-member house.  The house is scheduled to meet today on a requisition of opposition to discuss the motion of no-confidence against Sanjrani. President Dr Arif Alive has also summoned another regular session of the house on 1st of August for a voting on no-trust motions against Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Nandviwalla.

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif talking to reporters after the huddle skipped many of their questions but said that an analysis on the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ongoing visit to US was just a wastage of time. He claimed that PML-N had made some improvements in the existing system after learning from the mistakes of past.

Shehbaz said that Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed between PPP and PML-N in 2006 in London was the best document and added it was not too late to make situation better. He suggested that more political parties could be made part of CoD to bring the country out of present political and economic crisis. He viewed that the poor people were suffering because of bad economic conditions of the country and alleged that the only work of PM Imran Khan was to stuff the jails with political prisoners.

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman in his media interaction after the luncheon claimed that 62 lawmakers participated in the meeting and said that the number showed that no more discussion was now in place that whether Sanjrani could be removed from his office or not? “Sanjrani’s removal is writing on the wall now,” she added. She also said that a strategy had been formed in the moot how the opposition would react in the requisitioned cession.

She said that the opposition would meet today (Tuesday) before the session to make its further strategy for the sitting and the session summoned on August 1 for a voting on no-trust motions against Sajrani and Mandviwalla.

Responding to questions, the parliamentary leader of PPP in the Senate  Rehman said that despite the fact that opposition had required numbers, even if the government wanted to save the position of Sanjrani illegally and unconstitutionally, it would badly expose itself. She said that perhaps Jamaat Islami, an opposition parties, would abstain from voting but even then they had 64 senators which was majority number in the 104-member house. “Perhaps they have understood the fact now,” she said giving a reference to the ruling PTI. She warned the government to desist from delaying tactics for a voting on no-confidence move or using some “so-called legal instrument” to delay it.

PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi said that 62 senators participated in the luncheon and added that the opposition was united. “If the government indulged itself in horse-trading, we will defeat its move.”