The controversy over the appointment of JUI-F’s Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri as leader of the opposition in the Senate took a new turn on Tuesday when Chairman Farooq Naek announced that he would revisit his decision in accordance with the law and parliamentary practices.
This came after the senators raised objections to Haideri’s appointment through point of orders and boycotted the session. Though the lawmakers are supposed to debate the federal budget for fiscal year 2011-12, protests over Haideri’s appointment continued to spoil the proceedings for the third consecutive day.
Haideri was notified to succeed Senator Waseem Sajjad, who resigned in protest after his party — the PML-Q – joined the PPP-led coalition government.
Chairman Naek said that he had noted the suggestions, legal position of the notification and senators’ views regarding independent members’ right to vote. “I have decided to seek assistance from legal experts from the house to meet the demand,” he added.
He asked PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri to nominate the senators, who were legal and constitutional experts, to discuss the issue. The two senators, then, proposed the names of Raja Zafarul Haq, Raza Rabbani, Waseem Sajad, S M Zafar, Zafar Ali Shah, Jehangir Badar, Azam Khan Swati and Rehmatullah Kakar.
Earlier, Senator Abdul Rahim Mandokhel, JUI-F Senator Haji Ghulam Ali and PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar had submitted their viewpoints on Haideri’s appointment. MQM Senator Babar Ghauri demanded that the chairman set up a committee to resolve the issue.
Senator Haideri defended his appointment, saying that Chairman Naek’s decision was in accordance with parliamentary rules.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2011.