ISLAMABAD: In a tit-for-tat move, the senators of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its allies on Friday moved a no-confidence motion against Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla, who is a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart.
The development comes days after the senators of the opposition parties filed a no-trust motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
“The motion, signed by 26 senators, has been submitted in the Senate Secretariat,” said Leader of the House in Senate Shibli Faraz while talking to the media.
“A majority of the senators have lost trust in the Senate deputy chairman,” said Faraz.
The coalition parties and independent senators met the leader of the house. The matter of moving a no-confidence motion against Senate deputy chairman was discussed during the meeting.
Later, Balochistan Awami Party’s Senator Manzoor Kakar along with PTI and its coalition partners’ senators submitted the no-trust move against Mandviwalla with the Senate Secretariat.
According to the no-trust reference, the senators have demanded Mandviwalla's removal under Article 61, read along with Article 53(7)(c) of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, reports suggest Faraz also held meetings with the Senate members from erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to gain majority.
Earlier this week, Faraz said the PTI was working on a strategy to thwart the no-confidence bid against Sanjrani and he was in touch with several opposition senators for this purpose.
Talking to the media on Friday, PPP leader Sherry Rehman said the opposition enjoyed clear majority in the Senate and “there does not seem to be any difficulty in bringing our chairman in the Senate”.
She said, "Floor crossing cannot take place. It does not seem like we will have to face any difficulty in bringing our chairman.”
To a question, she said, “How can a forward bloc be formed. This will be a negation of law. The government does not have the required number of senators in Senate.”
On the meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chairman Sanjrani, she said, “The PM asked Sanjrani not to let the no-trust move succeed. Is this statement not horse trading.”
In a meeting with Sanjrani on Thursday, the prime minister had assured the Senate chairman of his party’s all-out support and vowed to foil the no-confidence motion against him.
In March last year, in a major blow to the then ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Sanjrani was elected the Senate chairman with the support of PTI, PPP and a bloc of independent lawmakers.