Senate chairman, deputy chairman divided on issue of invitation to foreign delegates


ISLAMABAD: The Gulf of differences between Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla has widened amid reports that the latter has invited foreign delegates to tour Pakistan but Sanjarani has told him that he is not authorised to invite any foreign parliamentarian to visit Pakistan.

In his reply to Sanjarani, the Senate deputy chairman has inquired where the rules stating his non-authority on the issue has been stated, adding that he stands by his decision.

Earlier on November 3, Mandiwala had gone on a foreign visit to meet foreign speakers and deputy speakers. They had invited Mandiwala to visit their respective countries and as a gesture of goodwill, the Senate deputy chairman had also invited them to visit Pakistan.

As soon as the matter came into the Sanjarani’s knowledge, he wrote a letter to Mandiwala stating that only the Senate chairman could invite foreign delegations to visit Pakistan. “An invitation extended by you is not appropriate. The nation’s hard-earned money is spent on these tours and such invitations should only be given in the national interest,” the letter stated.

In reply to Sanjarani’s letter, the Senate deputy chairman made it clear that he stands by his decision on extending an invitation to foreign delegations for visiting Pakistan. He said that he himself would pay the expenses in respect of visits because no foreign delegation has come to Pakistan for a long time.

He also said that foreign delegations should be allowed now they have expressed their desire.