Monday, 24 September, 2018

Zardari, Imran unite for Senate chairman election

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari speaks to reporters after a meeting at Bilawal House Islamabad.—INP PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari speaks to reporters after a meeting at Bilawal House Islamabad.—INP
Faye Gross | 13 March, 2018, 07:03

Majority of the opposition parties had supported Sanjrani's candidature and announced to vote for him after he was elected as the member of the Senate for the first time on March 3, 2018 in the Senate elections, in which, half of the chamber's members were elected.

Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of party leaders and allies in the federal capital today to discuss their candidates for the top offices of the Senate. The former premier said the change of chief minister in Balochistan before the Senate polls was no more a secret to anyone and an evident proof of horse-trading. He said they had the support of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami National Party (ANP) but Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) didn't yet assure its support to them.

His election as the first-ever Senate chairman from Balochistan marked the day's second historic moment.

Sanjrani was also backed by the independent senators from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

However, at a joint press conference with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo floated the names of Anwar Kakar and Sadiq Sanjarani, saying that one them would be their candidate for the top slot in the Upper House.

Prior to him, former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani took the floor and said that he will continue to fight for the supremacy of the Parliament on the floor and outside of the house, if need be.

Sadiq Sanjrani's father Khan Muhammad Asif Sanjrani is considered one of the leading tribal elders of Chagai district and now he is a member of the Chagai District Council.

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On the other hand, PPP leadership also held a meeting and discussed various options for Senate elections.

PML-N officials, who allege elements of the military are trying to weaken their party, accuse Sanjrani of being a "pro-establishment" candidate. The Presiding Officer Senator Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir administered oath to the new members.

In a lighter moment, all senators clapped and banged tables in appreciation when a new member, from a marginalised Hindu caste, entered the chamber.

Only Finance Minister Ishaq Dar did not take the oath as he is undergoing medical treatment in London and his election as a senator is being contested in the apex court.

But Asif Ali Zardari, co-president of the PPP and ex-president of the country, dismissed the idea.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Sanjrani said, "I am a simple man and want to serve my people who have been deprived of their rights for the last 70 years".

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