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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday said that a no-confidence motion against chairman Senate should be moved if the opposition has the support of 57 members in Senate.

“Fifty-seven members had given us in writing before chairman Senate elections [and] if we still have the support of 57 members, we should proceed with a no-confidence motion against Chairman Senate,” said former prime minister and senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while chairing his party’s parliamentary committee meeting.

About nomination of Yousaf Raza Gillani as opposition leader in Senate, he said: “Whatever Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) did was against the parliamentary norms”.

He said, “Let the PPP celebrate nomination of its opposition leader in Senate,” adding, “The benches where people from treasury are sitting could not be called opposition.”

“The PPP should bring a no confidence motion and elect its chairman as independent members had already said that they’ve joined BAP [Balochistan Awami Party],” he added.

He said that the PML-N stands by those who are struggling against the government through the platform of Pakistan democratic Movement (PDM), adding the decision who would become opposition leader in Senate had been taken at his residence.

“All the parties knows what had been decided about the opposition leader in Senate, a sub-committee had also taken a decision within two minutes about who will be the candidates for chairman and deputy chairman Senate,” he added.

Abbasi also came down hard on the Speaker National Assembly, saying he should tell the nation whether he is the custodian of National Assembly or simply representing his own party – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“Asad Qaiser knows he has lost the confidence of the opposition…the opposition is neither ready to accept him as a speaker nor wants to go to any committee formed by him,” he declared.

He said that the Prime Minister and his minister openly use ‘foul languages’ by standing on the floor of the house, but NA Speaker is acting as a silent spectator.

“Didn’t he [NA Speaker] heard the speech made by the Prime Minister which he delivered after getting a fake vote of confidence from the National Assembly, he [NA Speaker] should know no one can talk about a member if he’s not present in the house,” he regretted.

He demanded that the NA Speaker should apologise to the opposition or else the house may not function properly as opposition parties are being given level playing field by the speaker.

About electoral reforms, he said that all those involved in kidnapping of presiding officers should pledge they would not get into such activities in future, and mandate of the people would not be stolen.

In an obvious reference to the establishment, he said, “Those involved in political interference should distance themselves from national politics and give up the dirty habit of handpicking opposition leader [in Senate] by forcing treasury members to sit on opposition benches.”

The PML-N leader said that the leader of the house should tell the house what sort of electoral reforms his government wants to introduce, adding a Prime Minister who is yet to stop ‘calling names’ can not bring electoral reforms.

“The government is busy in promulgating ordinance after ordinance, which shows how much it trust on the parliament,” he lamented.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021