ISLAMABAD: Senators from the Muslim League of Pakistan-Nawaz (PML-N), who had formed a separate group on the opposition benches, met with Senate Speaker Sadiq Sanjrani on Tuesday and asked him to treat them as a “Independent opposition”.
According to an official document released by the Senate Secretariat, the PML-N delegation, led by Azam Nazeer Tarar, informed the Senate Speaker that their group includes 27 senators and that they should be consulted separately when forming the committee. permanent and functional. house committees.
The PML-N Senators who accompanied Mr. Tarar were Musadik Malik, Rana Maqbool Ahmed and Afnanullah Khan.
Speaking to the Senate in its first sitting on Monday, Tarar said opposition members from five parties did not support Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as leader of the opposition and they had decided to sit on the opposition benches as an independent group.
Opposition members shake hands when Senator JUI-F moves in as anti-government resolution
The independent opposition group includes the PML-N, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), the Balochistan-Mengal National Party, the National Party and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.
In its apparent reference to a group of independents, led by PML-N dissident Dilawar Khan and comprising senators known to be affiliated with the Balochistan Awami party, who had voted for Mr. Gilani in the election for the post of Senate opposition leader Tarar said the government had given the seat of Senate opposition leader “gift” to Gilani.
Mr. Tarar had been appointed by the PML-N as opposition leader in the Senate in accordance with the decision of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
However, the PPP not only opposed the appointment of Mr. Tarar as an attorney for the police officers accused in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, but also claimed his right to the office of the opposition leader to to be the largest party on the opposition benches with 21 senators. .
Mr Gilani was later declared Leader of the Opposition by the Speaker of the Senate after submitting a list of 30 senators, including the five senators who sat on the Treasury benches for the past three years, as his supporters. The decision not only sparked a split within the PDM, but also pitted the PPP and PML-N, the two great rivals of the past, against each other.
In his speech, Mr. Gilani expressed his willingness to support the opposition and the government, stressing that the fundamental objective during the formation of the PDM was to safeguard the constitutional, democratic and economic rights of the people, especially women, minorities, the working class and the workers.
The divided opposition, however, later showed unity in the house when Senator JUI-F Kamran Murtaza introduced a resolution condemning the government for its failure to procure the Covid-19 vaccine on time.
No less than 43 opposition senators voted in favor of the resolution, while 31 senators from the Treasury banks opposed it.
Posted in Dawn, April 7, 2021