The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has served show-causes notices to two of its constituent parties – the PPP and the ANP – for seeking support from the BAP – a part of the ruling coalition – for securing the coveted position of Senate leader of opposition for PPP’s Yusuf Raza Gilani.
PDM Secretary-General Shahid Khaqan Abbasi confirmed the development on Monday after attending a meeting of the 27 senators from the PDM parties – including the PML-N and the JUI-F – that have refused to accept Gilani as the leader of the opposition.
“Through the show-cause notices, the PDM has sought clarification from both the parties about the seeking votes from the BAP,” said Abbasi, who belongs to the PML-N.
Gilani said the PPP had received the show-cause notice. “The party has not given a response yet, but will comment on it later,” said the PPP leader, who like Abbasi also served as the prime minister.
Serious differences emerged between the PPP and the PML-N after the former appointed Gilani as Senate opposition leader in apparent violation of what had earlier been agreed upon in a PDM meeting.
Gilani was notified as opposition leader after some smaller opposition parties – including the ANP, the Jamaat-e-Islami and the BAP – threw their weight behind him.
Irked by the move, leaders of eight PDM opposition parties on Friday agreed that “show cause notices” should be issued to the PPP and the ANP for disregarding the PDM’s decision.
Sources said the eight parties decided to first give a chance to the PPP and the ANP to explain their position, warning that the two parties would be expelled from the alliance if they failed to satisfy.
Read more: Five PDM parties to form separate bloc
The parties also agreed to form a separate bloc of 27 opposition senators in the upper house to be led by Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, the PML-N’s candidate for the position of Senate opposition leader.
Interestingly, the opposition senators from the two groups held separate meetings on Monday ahead of the Senate sitting. The meeting of “independent opposition parties” led by Tarar was held in the chamber of the National Assembly leader of opposition.
Senators from the PML-N, the JUI-F, the PkMAP, the NP and the BNP-Mengal attended it.
Abbasi, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Tahir Bizenjo, Musaddiq Malik, Kamran Murtaza, Maulana Atta-ur-Rehman and others participated in it. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, who belongs to the BAP, also called on the senators during the meeting.
The second meeting, chaired by Gilani, was held in the chamber of the Senate leader of opposition.
During the Senate session, Gilani later said he did not know how difficult it was to contest the Senate elections as he had earlier been contesting for the National Assembly, in which lawmakers are elected directly by the people.
“I contested the Senate election with the help of the PDM. Our aim is to give relief to people. It is our duty to represent people, and the difference of opinion is part of democracy,” he added.
He said the Senate is a very important house of the parliament.
“Under the Constitution, this house was formed to end the sense of deprivation in smaller provinces. If this sense of deprivation had been eradicated, the fall of Dhaka would not have happened,” he said.
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