Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz has called newly-elected Senate Opposition Leader Yousaf Raza Gillani ‘selected’ in the wake of his victory against PML-N candidate Azam Nazir Tarar.

Maryam was speaking to reporters outside the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday. She visited the court to submit a surety bond of Rs1 million for bail in the Jatti Umra land allotment case.

The PML-N leader said it was disheartening to see that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) damaged the cause of democracy for a small gain of the Senate slot. She said that it was unprecedented that a leader of the opposition was being selected with the support of the lawmakers from the treasury benches i.e. Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

In a reference to BAP, she said BAP lawmakers vote at the behest of their ‘baap’ (father) and everyone knows who they are. Maryam said that if the PPP was so desperate for the key slot, it could have requested PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif for it instead of going behind their backs.

In an indirect reference to the PPP, she said it should make up its mind. The PPP leaders can follow Prime Minister Imran Khan if they also want to become obedient to that the powers-that-be.

In a notification issued by the Senate Secretariat, Gillani was named as the leader of the opposition in the upper house of parliament.

“In pursuance of Rule 16(3) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012, the chairman has been pleased to declare Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, with effect from March 26, 2021,” said a notification issued by the Senate Secretariat.

In a response to the victory, Ahsan Iqbal had tweeted that Gillani bypassed the PDM lawmakers, whose votes made him a senator, to become the Senate opposition leader. “Gillani, though a respectable man, preferred the senators of the Balochistan Awami Party(BAP),” he said, regretting the unilateral action of the PPP.

The PPP had formally appointed Gillani on Friday. His nomination by the PPP had marked a decisive crack within the PDM ranks, as the PML-N wanted to nominate its own man, Tarar, for the slot as per the reported commitments made in the PDM meeting.

Gillani had lost the Senate chairman elections to the government-backed candidate, Sadiq Sanjrani earlier this month.


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