According to the notification issued by the Senate Secretariat on Friday, Pakistan Peoples Party senator, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, has been declared as the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
“In pursuance of Rule 16 (3) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012, the Chairman Senate has been pleased to declare Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, with effect from 26th March, 2021,” the notification stated.
Earlier on Friday, Gilani, along with Senator Sherry Rehman, had reached the Parliament House and submitted the nomination papers to the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
Talking to the media Sherry Rehman said that Gillani’s nomination had been filed with the signatures of 30 senators — 21 from the PPP, two from the Awami National Party, one from the Jamaat-i-Islami, two from members belonging to Fata and four from the independent group of Dilawar Khan.
Whereas, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had already nominated its senator Azam Nazeer Tarar for the opposition leader post. According to media reports, Tarrar had the support of 17 to 21 opposition senators.
Rift in PDM
The PML-N leadership on Friday once again called out the PPP for acting against the decision taken with the consensus of all the opposition parties that the opposition leader in the Senate would be from the PML-N. The leadership further labelled the today’s development as a setback for the Pakistan Democratic Movement.
According to the PPP leadership, it was their right to field the candidate for the post of the opposition leader.
However, the PPP admitted that there had been an agreement but opined that after Gillani’s defeat “the situation has changed”.
“If this slot [leader of the Opposition] was so necessary for the PPP, the party should have informed Nawaz Sharif about it. He would have happily ceded the post to them,” said the PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal during a press briefing on Friday in Lahore.
Ahsan Iqbal also posted on Twitter that the PPP submitted a nomination to a person whose chairmanship they had challenged in court.
Many political and media pundits believe that the issue of the Senate opposition leader has created disagreements in the ranks of the 10-party opposition alliance (PDM) as the two mainstream political parties ( PPP and PML-N) are giving remarks against each other.
For the survival of “democracy” in Pakistan, can we assume that the battle is now between the PPP and the PDM?