ISLAMABAD   -   Only two days after a multi-party conference decided to oust the incumbent chairman Senate through a no-confidence move, a delegation comprising ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its allied parties Friday met with Sadiq Sanjrani what was described as a “solidarity” visit.

A key leader of the ruling party also separately said that the PTI government would oppose the replacement of Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani.

The lawmakers of the ruling party and its coalition partners from the National Assembly and the Senate met with Sanjrani in his chamber to show “solidarity with him and strengthen his hands.”

The MPC hosted by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and attended by all major opposition parties had decided that it would adopt a constitutional way for the removal of Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani.

The ruling party and its coalition partners have thin majority in the 104-member upper house and the move has caused quite a stir in the government ranks. However, official sources close to Prime Minister Imran Khan indicate that the government was determined to defeat this move.

Following the decision, the major opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and JUI-F have started discussions with each other to make the move successful and make a consensus on the new name of chairman. They are also considering the proposal to bring in the new chairman from Balochistan, the most deprived and poverty-stricken province of the country, as Sanjrani belonged to that province.  

After the meeting, Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza speaking to reporters along with Sanjrani said they had called on the chairman in a bid to strengthen his hands and show solidarity with him.

“We understand that the way he (Sanjrani) is running the upper house with neutrally and impartiality and free of any biases which is the hallmark of speaker NA and chairman Senate’s role,” she said. In different times, senators have been speaking on different issues and the incumbent chairman had always managed it fairly, she said.

Mirza went on to say even the treasury members had been showing reservations that Sanjrani was giving “excessive” time to the opposition members in the house. It is actually the discretion of the chair to allocate time to parliamentarians, she added.

On the occasion, Sanjrani said he has run the house in a completely balanced manner.

When asked to comment on the opposition’s decision to oust him from his office, Sanjrani avoided to say anything. “I will not say anything on the matter,” he added.

The lawmakers who visited the Senate chairman included members of PTI, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Balochistan Awami Party and Grand Democratic

Alliance.

Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema; Aslam Bhootani, an independent MNA from Balochistan; PTI Senator Dr Shahzad Waseem and female lawmakers were among them.

Sanjrani had been elected Senate chairman in March this year after the PPP’s Raza Rabbani completed his term in office.

APP adds: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq on Friday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would oppose the replacement of Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani.

Talking to media persons outside the Parliament House, he said that the Senate Chairman was performing his duties with impartiality and the government would support him.

Naeemul Haq said that there were rumours about replacement of the Senate Chairman but the government was not aware about what the Opposition was planning regarding this matter.

He said that the government thought that the Senate Chairman was a decent person and was discharging his duties appropriately.