ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Monday again warned the joint opposition in the Senate that its no-confidence motion against Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani was set to fail.

The government also gave rise to another controversy indicating that it would consider 7-day notice period from 1st of August, when the Senate session would commence, to hold a voting on the no-trust motion against chairman and deputy chairman Senate.

The opposition claims that the 7-day notice period, as required under the rules of business for voting on a no-confidence, has already been started when it had submitted the notice of no-confidence against chairman with the Senate secretariat on July 9.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and PTI Senator Azam Khan Swati, addressing a press conference at the National Press Club, said that Senate session had been summoned on 1st of August and then the 7-day notice period would start from that day.

Sub-rule 3 of Rule 12 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012 says that “the motion for leave to move the resolution shall be entered in the names of the members concerned in the Orders of the Day for the first working day after the expiry of seven days from the date of the receipt of the notice under sub-rule (1).”

Senator Swati claimed that majority of senators in 104-member house would vote for Sanjarani and defeat the opposition’s motion because of his good character and conduct, besides running the house in a smooth manner. “Sanjrani is facing no corruption or misconduct allegation.”

He said contrary to the fact that opposition was in majority in the house, lawmakers in majority would draw a comparison between the two candidates, Sanjrani and Senator Mir Hasil Bazenjo — the joint opposition’s candidate for the position of chairman Senate. “And they will vote for Sanjrani on the call of their conscience.”

He said that this had happened in the past and he as Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) senator had not voted for the presidential candidate of Pakistan People’s Party, Asif Ali Zardari, ignoring his party’s direction.  The minister also said that he would contact all parties to seek vote for Sanjrani as it was a parliamentary tradition.

“We have already begun making contacts with all parties in this connection,” he said and added that his party’s decision to contact JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman for withdrawal of the motion was not wrong. He also requested the opposition to withdraw the motion otherwise it will open a new Pandora’s box and after every six months, the house will be witnessing such motions. He said that this no-rust motion was a big test for the upper house as the house was different from the National Assembly. “The Senate represents federating units on equality. The atmosphere of house is different from NA,” he said. In a related development, President Dr Arif Alvi has appointed Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Senator Barrister Muhammad Ali Said as the presiding officer for the Senate session commencing on 1st of August to take up the no-trust motions against chairman and deputy chairman Senate, the Senate Secretariat sources informed. The sub-rule 5 of the Rule 12 (Removal of Chairman or Deputy Chairman), says that “The Chairman or, as the case may be, the deputy chairman shall not preside over a sitting of the Senate in which a resolution for his removal from office is fixed for consideration.”

Interestingly, the president has rejected all three names of senators proposed by Senate secretary to preside over this session. They included PTI Senator Walid Iqbal and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senators Sardar Yaqoob Nasir and General (retd) Abdul Qayyum.