Naeks visit delays appointment of Dar

ISLAMABAD - The appointment of Leader of the Opposition in the Senate will be in doldrums for some time due to Chairman Senate Farooq H Naeks scheduled visit of Poland starting from today. The slot of the Leader of the Opposition had fallen vacant soon after Senator Wasim Sajjad resigned as his party PML-Q joined the treasury benches through a power sharing deal with the PPP-led federal government. The sources in the Senate Secretariat informed that Chairman Senate could not appoint the Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House of the Parliament due to some legal complications arising out of an application submitted in the Senate Secretariat carrying signatures of 24 senators in support of Ishaq Dar of PML-N for this slot. Keeping in view the complex situation, Chairman Senate has decided to contact all the parliamentary groups sitting on the opposition benches in the Senate to ascertain the fact as to who enjoyed majority among the opposition benches for the Leader of the Opposition. Senator Ishaq Dar of PML-N and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri of JUI-F are the contenders for this slot. However, the processes of consultations will start in the last week of May after the completion of Chairman Senates scheduled visit to Poland, an official of Senate Secretariat informed. The decision of the appointment of Leader of the Opposition for Chairman Senate became a difficult one after this application of 24 senators including 9 of PML-Q dissidents who nominated Ishaq Dar as the Leader of the Opposition. Legal and political experts are of the view that 9 PML-Q dissidents among them 4 senators of PML-Q (Likeminded) led by Senator Saleem Saifullah Khan could not support the nomination of Ishaq Dar as their party was sitting on the treasury benches. However, PML-Q (Likeminded) is of the opinion that they had challenged the election of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as PML-Q president and the matter was pending with the court. JUI-F having 10 seats in the house has also fielded Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, the parliamentary leader of the party in the Upper House as candidate for this slot as the party stalwarts claim that they also had the support of some three independent senators from Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). The party has also taken the plea that 9 PML-Q dissidents could not support Ishaq Dar as their party was part of the government. However, PML-N is sure about the appointment of Ishaq Dar as Leader of the Opposition soon after the arrival of Chairman Senate from abroad on the claim that he had the support of majority of members (24 senators) from the opposition benches.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt