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ISLAMABAD: Federal government is planning to get Shaukat Tarin elected as a senator in order to appoint him as Finance Minister subsequent to the joint session of Parliament planned to be summoned next week.

The delay in Tarin's election is premised on the fact that the government would need to vacate one Senate seat before nominating Tarin as a candidate, an action tantamount to losing one vote in the joint session.

The government plans to hold voting on crucial bills related to electoral reforms in Parliament's joint session and cannot take the risk of losing a vote in Senate, Business Recorder has reliably learnt.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan told the media earlier on Wednesday that government planned to convene National Assembly's session soon, wherein the agenda to summon Parliament's joint session would be moved.

Last month, reports surfaced that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Ayub Afridi resigned from the Senate in order to create space for Tarin in Senate, and that Afridi would be assigned the portfolio of PM's advisor. Afridi did not respond to a request for comments till the filing of this report.

A source close to him confirmed that he tendered his handwritten resignation to the chairman Senate. However, sources in Senate Secretariat told Business Recorder that Afridi was still a senator because his resignation was yet to be verified by Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani as he was lately in Balochistan, reportedly to lobby for new Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo.

"Sanjrani was too busy in Balochistan to deal with Senate affairs. And Tarin was busy in negotiations with International Monetary Fund (IMF). He did not have time to campaign for Senate election due to his hectic engagements - if a Senate seat was vacated for him. And, now there is no time to vacate a Senate seat given that Parliament's joint session is around the corner," said a lawmaker requesting anonymity.

In the light of relevant provisions of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business in Senate 2012, a senator, who intends to step down from the Senate membership, tenders his/ her handwritten resignation to chairman Senate.

The resignation becomes effective after verification by the chairman from the senator. The chairman is then required to send a copy of the resignation to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to notify the vacant seat in Senate.

Article 224 (5) of the Constitution of Pakistan provides that when a seat in the Senate becomes vacant, an election to fill the seat shall be held within thirty days from the occurrence of the vacancy.

Tarin was appointed as Finance Minister by Prime Minister Imran Khan in April this year in accordance with Article 91 (9) of the Constitution. His six-month term ended on October 16. On October 17, he was appointed PM's Advisor on Finance and Revenue.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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