Delegation meets Fazlur Rehman, urges opposition to withdraw no-confidence resolution against Senate chair

A delegation comprising members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its allies on Wednesday met Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at his residence in Islamabad to convince an angry opposition to withdraw their no-confidence resolution against Senate chairman.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani and Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz were among the prominent members of the delegation.

Opposition parties had earlier this month submitted a no-confidence resolution against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, along with a requisition to summon a session to put a motion of no-confidence to vote.

In a tit-for-tat move, government senators submitted a no-confidence resolution against Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla.

Sanjrani had summoned a session on Tuesday in order for the opposition to debate on the resolution but Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq refused to discuss the resolution, saying that it was against the rules to discuss a no-confidence resolution in a requisitioned session. The session was then prorogued.

Speaking to the media after their meeting today, Alyani, who is part of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), said that even though “submitting a no-confidence resolution against Senate chairman is a democratic right of the opposition, there is no precedent of the practice”.

“This [move] may lead to a no-confidence [resolution] being submitted every two to three months,” he warned.

“We do not want the dignity of the Senate to be compromised,” PTI Senator Faraz said.

Alyani noted that Sanjrani had been “running the House in a good manner” and expressed hope that Rehman “will play a positive role” in dissuading the opposition parties from going ahead with the move. He said that if the opposition withdraws its no-confidence resolution, the senators of PTI and its allies will do the same.

Rehman, however, remained non-committal and said that the decision to submit a no-confidence resolution was taken during a multi-party conference that was attended by members of opposition parties.

“The opposition has come a long way,” he told the media. “At this point, how can [the opposition] fulfill the wishes of the government delegation and withdraw the no-confidence resolution?”

“Let’s see what happens next,” he added.

Senator Faraz said that the government will also contact other opposition parties “as a matter of principle”.

“What can be better than reaching out to opposition parties in order to improve the political situation?” he said.

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