PTI targets Mandviwalla after Opp’s move against Sanjrani


–Senate deputy chairman calls no-trust motion against him a ‘strange tradition’, says ‘happy to step down’ 

A day after joint opposition nominated its candidate to replace the Senate chairman, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Leader of the House Shibli Faraz along with other senators submitted a no-trust motion against Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla in a tit-for-tat move.

The resolution is backed by at least 26 senators, PTI Senator Shibli Faraz told reporters, adding that the lawmakers have demanded Mandviwalla’s removal under Rule 12 (Removal of Chairman or Deputy Chairman) of the Rules of Procedure in Conduct of Business in the Senate and Article 61, read along with Article 53(7)(c).

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak told reporters that the government resorted to no-trust move against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mandviwalla because “they did not honour our votes [that were cast in favour of Sanjrani] and withdrew their support for the Senate chairman”.

Speaking about the opposition’s bid to oust the incumbent chairman, Khattak said Sanjrani had run the Upper House “with dignity” for the past one and a half year and there was “no reason to remove him”.

He also denied allegations of horse trading, saying that “15-20 members in the Senate are completely independent”.

In a meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had assured Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani of the government’s support and urged him to hold his ground against the no-confidence vote floated by the opposition parties.

The meeting had come hours after opposition parties named National Party chief Mir Hasil Bizenjo for the post of Senate chairman.

“We will make the no-trust motion against Sanjrani unsuccessful,” the PM was quoted as saying.

The deputy chairman termed the move against him a “strange tradition that won’t bide well for the House”. He added that some senators had told him that they were “told to sign the resolution”.

Reacting to the no-confidence resolution against him, Senate Deputy Chairman Mandviwalla said: “If members of the Senate think I should not remain in office, I will step down happily.”