ISLAMABAD: PML-N has awarded chairmanship of a Senate panel to Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldeni of Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) in parliament’s upper house. This is considered by many to be an unusual move by the ruling party.
BNP-M has been a coalition partner of PML-N government in the past. The government gave preference to a former ally, despite PML-N Senator Saleem Zia’s earlier election as chairman of the committee.
Senator Zia stepped down as head of the panel as well as member of the committee. Chairmanship of Senate committees is awarded to political parties in accordance with the number of their seats in the 104-member house. At least three seats can secure one chairmanship of the panel. Premier Sharif is known for his partiality towards Balochistan.
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Dr Jamaldini was elected as chairman of the panel unanimously. The meeting of the committee held here on Tuesday morning at parliament house was attended by PPP’s Saeed Ghani, PML-N’s Saud Majeed, Senator Zahida Khan and JUI-F Senator Attaur Rehman. The Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges can initiate action against any person or government officials on parliamentarians’ complaints. All privilege motions presented in the upper house are also referred to the privilege panel to decide the fate of the motion.
Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, senior leader of PML-N, gave assurance that his government would not discriminate against any province. All the provinces would be treated on equal footing, he said, citing discrimination committed in the past.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2015.
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