Opposition’s Senate debacle

And the Trojan Horse

Only days earlier there was talk in the opposition circles to move a no-confidence resolution against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. The idea was based on the fact that the Opposition enjoyed a majority in the upper House. That Yusuf Raza Gilani was elected leader of the Opposition in the Senate with the help of the Dilawar Khan group led the PPP to claim that it was an independent group which was now supporting the PPP and not the government. It was forgotten that those who had sent the Dilawar group to help the PPP to create a rift in PDM could easily recall it. Had the Dilawar group not voted against the opposition, the government could not have succeeded.

The government defeated the opposition in Senate by passing four important bills, including the National Accountability Amendment Bill 2021 and the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2021. Despite the opposition’s outcry, the treasury benches also managed to have the Higher Education Commission (Amendment) Bill 2021 and the Higher Education Commission (Second Amendment) Bill 2021 passed during the Senate session.

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The belief in the opposition enjoying majority was so strong that nearly a dozen opposition Senators left the House toward the tailend of the proceedings, some avowedly to offer their Friday prayers. Taking advantage of the absence of so many opposition Senators, the government introduced two bills on a supplementary agenda.

A better management of the Senate session, particularly by ensuring the presence of its members till the end of the sitting, could have provided some relief to the opposition. The opposition needs to close its ranks instead of indulging in mutual recrimination in days to come.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]


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