ISLAMABAD: Removing the confusion created by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Swati’s remarks about the procedure to be adopted for the upcoming Senate session, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) announced on Tuesday that the voting for the no-trust motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani would be held on August 1.
“The procedure spelt out in Rule 12 of the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Senate will be strictly followed and voting will take place on August 1,” Leader of the House in the Senate Syed Shibli Faraz said.
“The house has been summoned to meet on August 1, and then there will be seven days [for voting],” Mr Swati had told a press conference on Monday.
He was trying to say that there was sufficient time available for contacts with the opposition to persuade them to support Mr Sanjrani.
“I will even ask the opposition’s joint candidate Mir Hasil Bizenjo to vote in favour of Mr Sanjrani,” Mr Swati had said.
Rumours about Senate chairman’s possible resignation before vote brushed aside
Mr Faraz, however, made it clear that the government had no intention of using delaying tactics, adding that the agenda of the day would be circulated among the senators on Wednesday (today).
He brushed aside rumours that Mr Sanjrani was considering resigning before the vote and said such rumours were being spread by the opposition having a defeatist mindset.
“We are in an upbeat mood and are fully ready for a showdown,” he said.
He said if Mr Sanjrani was to resign he would have done so on the very first day. “We have heard the rumour that JUI-F senators have refused to vote for the opposition’s joint candidate Mir Hasil Bizenjo,” he added.
Accusing the opposition of avoiding a contest, he said their constant meetings demonstrated their lack of confidence. He said that sumptuous meals could not change the minds of honourable members of the opposition who had reservations over the move to remove Mr Sanjrani from the office.
The remarks came the evening the PPP parliamentary leader hosted a dinner for opposition senators and a day before the vote, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will be hosting a lunch for them, while Mir Hasil Bizenjo will be hosting a dinner the same day.
In a related development, a delegation of senators from the ruling PTI and its allied parties, including members from tribal areas, formerly known as Fata, BAP and MQM, led by Mr Faraz, met Prime Minister Imran Khan.
During the meeting, the prime minister said that the opposition’s move against Mr Sanjrani was an attempt to avert accountability.
“We will not be influenced by such moves and the anti-corruption drive will continue at all levels and in all institutions,” a participant of the meeting quoted the prime minister as saying. He indicated that the campaign would gain momentum in the days to come.
The prime minister also criticised Maulana Fazlur Rahman for his claim that the government had sought an NRO from him and said the JUI-F chief posed himself as a religious leader, but actually he had used the name of Islam for political gains.
Meanwhile, former interior minister and PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik on Tuesday submitted a resolution to the Senate secretariat, seeking a debate in the upper house on the prime minister’s recent visit to the United States, gains achieved there and impact of the visit on the Pak-US relations.