ISLAMABAD 14 July: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has made a move to strengthen its position in the upper house of parliament amid the ongoing game of no-confidence motions.
After the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) submitted a no-confidence motion against Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala, the PML-N has started serious consultation and lobbying to obtain the post in quid pro quo for supporting the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) motion against Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
The PPP requires the support of the PML-N to ensure success of the no-confidence motion against Sanjrani. If the PML-N conditions its support to the post of deputy chairman, the PPP will be required to sacrifice an important leader.
In this Senate, the PML-N is the largest party with 30 seats. The post of opposition leader is also with the PML-N, which is currently held by its Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq. Sources said that if the PML-N makes a final decision regarding the deputy chairman’s slot, Haq could be the possible candidate.
Certain PML-N leaders are of the view that the party has decided to support Hasil Bizenjo, who hails from Balochistan, as the candidate for Senate chairman’s post on the request of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari, in order to avoid the feeling of deprivation in Balochistan.
However, they suggest that on the basis of their majority in the house, the party must have the post of deputy chairman. On the other hand, it won’t be easy for the PPP to sacrifice Mandviwala, as he is considered close to Zardari
According to sources, the PPP also does not want to quit this post but the dilemma is that without the support of the PML-N the PPP in no way will be able to get the no-confidence motion against Sanjrani passed.
Currently, the 64-member opposition, includes 30 senators from the PML-N, while the PPP has 20 seats. Among others, six belong to the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), two from the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and one from the Awani National Party (ANP).
The sources said that many opposition members have the backdoor contacts with the government. Only a few days ago, Zardari himself had admitted in an interview that a senator belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has rebelled.
In terms of the numbers, the opposition boasts of a strong position but internally many members are not in favor of the no-confidence motion. In this situation, if there is a deadlock between the PML-N and the PPP over the post of deputy chairmanship, it will put a huge obstacle in the way of success of the no-confidence motion.