Dar logically pleads his case for opposition leader slot


Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Parliamentary Leader in the Senate Ishaq Dar referred Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek to the Balochistan Assembly on Wednesday in a bid to establish that a party could sit on treasury and opposition benches simultaneously, saying all the PML-Quaid Balochistan Assembly members except Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind were sitting on treasury benches, while Rind, who also belonged to the same party, was the opposition leader in the assembly.
Giving arguments on the legal and constitutional issues involved in the nomination of the Senate opposition leader, Dar said nobody at that time had objected to the division in the PML-Q provincial assembly legislature. He said the PML-Likeminded group existed in Balochistan and the authorities recognised it. Dar, who is competing for the post of opposition leader against Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), said the same situation was in the Sindh Assembly where one of the PML-Functional members was in the treasury and the other in the opposition. “How can you say that a party cannot sit on the treasury and opposition benches simultaneously?” Dar asked the chairman, who was presiding over the session as a ‘judge’.
He said according to the Senate Secretariat records, none other than the Senate chairman himself, in response to a letter written by PML-Q dissident senators, allotted them seats on the opposition benches, and questioned under which logic they were no longer part of the opposition. Dar also claimed that there was tampering in the process of finalising the electoral college for the opposition leader’s nomination. Producing documentary proof of his claims in the House, Dar said Haideri enjoyed support from 10 and not 19 senators. “The whole record was tampered with for the election of the opposition leader,” he added.
He said the date on the resignation of Wasim Sajjad as leader of the opposition was tampered with, as according to a note written by the Senate secretary on May 19, Wasim Sajjad had resigned already, whereas it was notified on May 21 to allow the outgoing opposition leader to enjoy perks and privileges.
He also agued that the Senate chairman could review his ruling. In this connection, he recalled that Naek, while appearing as a lawyer for President Asif Ali Zardari, had won a case in the Sindh High Court in 1997 to get reviewed a ruling of the Senate chairman at the time. After the debate ended, the chairman reserved his ruling. The House will debate on the president’s address to the joint sitting of parliament today (Thursday).
Meanwhile, Raza Rabbani, chairman of the 18th Amendment Implementation Commission, said on Wednesday that the chair’s ruling could be reviewed, amended and revisited by the chair itself and its opinion to determine the largest party could neither be capricious and arbitrary nor interchangeable with the word “discretion”.