ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, Monday, announced his support for Prime Minister Imran Khan in the impending no-confidence motion and said he would suggest supporting the PM to the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

BAP has not yet taken any decision regarding the no-confidence motion against the PM, he said.

“But, I will, for sure, put up this proposal before my party – that we should support Khan sahib (in foiling the no-confidence motion),” Sanjrani said in an informal conversation with a select group of journalists.

The chairman Senate was asked to comment on the statement of Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah that two members National Assembly (MNAs) belonging to BAP offered their support to joint opposition in the no-confidence motion against Khan.

The Senate chief expressed ignorance in this regard, adding that the matter was not in his knowledge. “I respect Shah sahib—he is certainly a good friend of mine. But I have not met anyone regarding this issue (no-confidence motion)— any meeting is not in my knowledge,” Sanjrani said.

Sanjrani belongs to BAP but he was elected as Senator in March 2018 as an independent candidate on general seat from Balochistan. Sources in Senate Secretariat told Business Recorder that chairman Senate is actively lobbying in favour of PM Khan but BAP President Jam Kamal Alyani and some of his supporters are inclined to put their weight behind joint opposition against PM. Kamal had to step down as Chief Minister Balochistan ahead of a no-confidence motion moved against him by disgruntled leaders of BAP in October last year.

“Alyani feels that PM did not support him. Therefore, he had to step down as CM Balochistan to skip no-confidence motion. This is the main reason Alyani is not supporting PM,” said a source privy to the matter.

Moreover, the insiders said, the chairman Senate is also concerned that if BAP supports the no-confidence motion against PM, a no-confidence motion against Sanjrani can be moved in Senate that could be supported by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senators, leading to the possible ouster of Sanjrani.

In 342-seat National Assembly, the present strength of which is 341 members, with one seat being vacant, PTI-led ruling coalition has 178 seats including BAP’s five seats.

One BAP MNA Zubaida Jalal is member of federal cabinet and holds the portfolio of Federal Defence Production Minister. She was part of BAP delegation that met PM on Monday to assure him their support against no-confidence motion.

In 100-seat Senate having present strength of 99, opposition has 53 seats compared to PTI-led coalition’s 46 seats with BAP having 12 seats. One Senator-elect Ishaq Dar from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has not taken oath since his election to the upper house of Parliament in March 2018.

Sanjrani first became Chairman Senate after March 2018 elections. He defeated no-confidence motion moved by the joint opposition in August 2019 and got re-elected as Senate chief in March last year after defeating opposition’s joint candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) despite the ruling coalition not enjoying a majority in the Senate. On all these three occasions, he received strong support from PTI.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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