PPP, PTI nominate Sadiq Sanjrani for Senate chairmanship

ISLAMABAD: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari talking with media after meeting at Zardari House Islamabad. INP PHOTO

–Saleem Mandviwalla their joint candidate for deputy chairman

–Balochistan CM, Bilawal Bhutto made announcement after consensus on the names

–PML-N is likely to nominate Hasil Bizenjo for chairmanship; Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Raja Zafarul Haq under consideration for deputy chairmanship

ISLAMABAD: After much deliberations and marathon meetings, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its allies have decided to pitch the independent senator-elect from Balochistan, Sadiq Sanjrani, against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) potential nominee Hasil Bizenjo for the much sought after Senate chairman seat.

Talking to reporters following a meeting concerning the Senate chairmanship nominees, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the PPP would field Senator Saleem Mandviwalla for the deputy chairmanship after reaching a consensus among the likeminded parties.

Sanjrani, an independent senator of Bizenjo group, is considered close to the PPP leadership and is backed by the PPP in exchange for his support to the PPP’s proposed deputy chairman, Mandviwalla

Earlier, the PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had given Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo the authority to bring forth a joint candidate for the slot with the help of newly-elected independent senators from Balochistan.

Following a meeting of CM Bizenjo with the PTI leadership at Banigala on Sunday, the PTI spokesperson informed the media persons that the party would support Sanjrani for Senate chairmanship.

This meeting also brought good news for the PPP as the PTI, that had earlier decided not to support the PML-N or PPP at any cost, softened its stance and nodded to the PPP’s candidate for the deputy chairmanship.

In a press release coming on the heels of the meeting, the PTI said, “The party will support any name for the slot of deputy chairman that the Balochistan CM will suggest, including a nominee of the PPP or any other political party.”

On Friday, Imran Khan had said that the deputy chairman should be from FATA. However, he backtracked today from earlier stance, saying that the Balochistan CM requested the PTI to develop a greater consensus, so the PTI will let go of its earlier stance and support anyone Bizenjo would suggest—in short the PPP’s candidate.

Balochistan CM Bizenjo, who became an MP by bagging 544 votes from the Awaran region of Balochistan on the PML-Q ticket, rose to prominence after ousting then chief minister Sanaullah Zehri with the help of the disgruntled PML-N MPs ahead of the Senate polls. His rebellion had also cost the PML-N at least six seats from the province.

In order to take his party leadership into confidence over the prevailing political situation, Bizenjo along with independent Senators called on PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujat Hussain at his residence in Islamabad.

In a post-meeting talk with the media persons, CM Bizenjo said that Balochistan should get the opportunity [to head the Senate]. “The chairman will be from Balochistan for the first time; we enjoy support of 60 Senators, we are in contact with Pushtunkhwah Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party (NP) and Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) [as well],” he told reporters.

Expressing gratitude to the PPP leadership, he said that it was the responsibility of Balochistan to ensure the success of its candidate [Sanjrani]. He further said that Asif Zardari is in a position to secure the top slots of the Senate.

PML-Q chief Shujat said that he asked CM Bizenjo to take a decision which would be in the interest of Pakistan and Balochistan. Announcing unconditional support for Bizenjo, Shujat said, “I hope Bizenjo’s mission will be in the utmost interest of Pakistan, besides Balochs and Pushtuns’ interests.


On the other hand, not deterred by the tall claims of CM Bizenjo, Asif Zardari and Imran Khan, the PML-N and its allies— Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party—under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif are making all out efforts to outwit the PPP-led alliance.

PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif holds meeting with allies in Islamabad

In a meeting held in Islamabad at the Punjab House, the PML-N leadership, including PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and allied parties put their head together over the names of the senators for the top slots.

After the meeting, NP chief Hasil Bizenjo told media persons that the PML-N and allies have finalised names for the chairman and deputy chairman slots but that they will wait for an announcement from the PPP, in a hope that it might nominate Raza Rabbani.

It may be noted the PML-N’s hopes were dashed when the PPP and allies announced to back Sanjrani and Mandviwala for the chairman and deputy chairman slots, respectively. In this case, Nawaz Sharif will now announce the PML-N candidate in the morning, as per Hasil Bizenjo.

As for now, the insiders say that the most likely candidate for the slot of the chairman will be Hasil Bizenjo, while the current deputy chairman of the Senate, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, and PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq are favourites for the deputy chairmanship of the upper house. However, the deputy will be decided after the meeting of the PML-N with the MQM-P and likely to be announced by 4pm today.

Regarding the ‘focus’ of the opposition parties on Balochistan, the NP chief said that this issue is not about Balochistan, rather an issue of the allied parties and added that there were no discussions in the PML-N meeting concerning the nomination of a candidate from Balochistan.

Earlier, PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai assured PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif of his complete support for the polls and proposed names of PML-N’s Mushahidullah and Pervez Rasheed for chairman and deputy chairman Senate slots. But these names were apparently rejected as Rasheed confided in Pakistan Today that he won’t be the contender for any of the Senate slots.


The senators will meet at the Parliament House on Monday (today) to take oaths and elect the chairman and deputy chairman of the upper house, respectively.

According to a local news agency, the polling day will start with a meeting convened by President Mamnoon Hussain at 10 am that will be presided by Sardar Yaqub Nasir— the designated presiding officer.

52 newly elected members of the Senate will also take oaths, followed by the filing of the nomination papers for the election of the chairman and deputy chairman in the noon.

Following the scrutiny of the papers, elections will be held through a secret ballot; subsequently, the outgoing Senate chairman, Raza Rabbani, will administer an oath from the newly elected chairman and invite him to take over the chair. Following this, the new chairman will conduct the election for deputy chairman.


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