ISLAMABAD: Upset over the opposition being accused of siding with the government in passing the controversial SBP bill, PPP Senator Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday announced his resignation as Senate Leader of the Opposition .
As the House resumed after the two-day recess, Gilani was on his feet to announce that he had tendered his resignation to the party leadership as he no longer wanted to remain Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
It is fitting that he was among eight opposition lawmakers who were not present in the House when the SBP bill was put to the vote and passed. Amid jeers from the side of the Treasury, some opposition lawmakers explained their stance on the ‘hectic day of legislation’.
He pointed out that there was a tradition of building trust with all parties before tackling an important agenda, moreover, no meeting of the business advisory committee was held to discuss the bill. amendment of the SBP.
He lamented that the bill passed without being referred to the relevant standing committee for consideration and report. Gilani took the opportunity to also criticize Senate Speaker Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani for facilitating the government by adjourning the debates for 30 minutes, allowing them to ensure maximum presence in the House, at a time when the government was short of members.
When the House resumed after the recess, he continued that the Speaker had to vote for the first time due to the tie of the Treasury and Opposition MPs in the vote. Addressing Sanjrani, he remarked, “As the house keeper, you shouldn’t have done this, because you have to take both sides of the aisle.” He said the defectors should teach him a lesson.
Senate President Sadiq Sanjrani said he was impartial and neutral and did not need tutoring. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the resignation of Yusuf Raza Gilani was just a tragedy. Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Bilawal should tender his resignation instead.
Senate House Leader Dr Shahzad Waseem strongly defended the President’s right to vote and said it was strictly within the rules, then explained that the President, under Rule 240 of the Rules of Procedure Interior and the Conduct of Business in the Senate, do not vote except in the case of a tie.
He added that in the event of a tie, it was the president’s right to cast his benevolent vote. He mocked the opposition by thanking everyone who voted in favor of the bill and those who abstained from voting.
Senator JI Mushtaq Ahmad argued that his privilege was breached as he was not allowed to move his amendments and explain them under Rule 109. Then he explained that the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had founded SBP and remarked: “You sold Pakistan from Quaid in a disgraceful deal with the IMF. In this you have made the Governor of the SBP, the Viceroy and the IMF another East India Company”.
Taking the opportunity, PNA Senator Haji Hidayatullah condemned those who said his party, Senator Umer Farooq Kasi, left the House before voting and explained that he voted against the bill. , when a motion was filed seeking permission to move the SBP bill. . However, later he had to leave, but not without expressing his opposition to the bill in writing.
At this time, PTI Senator Faisal Javed said that Yusuf Raza Gilani did not need to explain, whether on purpose or not, his absence from the House served the national interest. He said the division in the ranks of the opposition had highlighted each success of Imran Khan.
The leader of the independent group of six senators, Dilawar Khan, said they were independents and had never attended any opposition meetings and voted for the SBP bill. “Opposition leader Yusuf Raza Gilani had invited me for a consultation on the SBP bill, but when he went to his room he was not there. However, he added that Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Federal Science and Technology Minister Shibli Faraz and Railways Minister Azam Swati met him and explained the features of the bill and the persuaded them to vote in favor.
He complained: “They put their fingers up at us like we’ve been caught with a huge cache of heroin or hashish. Members of our group have never attended any meeting of any opposition party, including PPP, PMLN and JEWISH, and have a separate identity.” PMLN Senator Saadia Abbasi said on the issue that Gilani was a respectable person who had sacrificed his post as Prime Minister for the rule of law and principles, and asked the PPP leadership not to accept his resigned as Leader of the Opposition. She said senators from all major opposition parties were absent that day and noted that the opposition must accept responsibility.
The House also passed a joint resolution against the propaganda of the presidential system in the country. The resolution by lawmakers, belonging to nearly all opposition parties, was proposed by former Senate President Raza Rabbani. The House, through the resolution, swore that it would preserve and protect the parliamentary form of government as envisioned in the 1973 Constitution, noting that any other form of government would have disastrous consequences for the Federation.
The resolution reads: “The Senate of Pakistan notes that a systematic campaign in a section of the media and social media is being carried out to undermine the federal parliamentary form of government.
“The House takes note that such a campaign propagates a presidential form of government.” He recalled that the founder of the Quaid-i-Azam Nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned a federal parliamentary form of government as his vision for Pakistan and said that the people of Pakistan had struggled and sacrificed tirelessly for a federal parliamentary form of government.
“Realizing that Pakistan is a participatory federation.” The House pointed out that the 1973 Constitution envisioned Pakistan as a federation, with a parliamentary form of government, a trichotomy of power, independence of the judiciary, provincial autonomy and fundamental rights of its citizens and observed that A presidential form of government would introduce a unitary form of government, in which the entire 1973 Constitution would have to be rewritten.
He warned that given the provincial intra-provincial and federal polarization, internal political instability, regional situation and international attempts to colonize Pakistan, will make national consensus on a new constitution impossible. Senate House Leader Dr. Shahzad Waseem rose to clarify that the PTI government had nothing to do with the ongoing debate over the presidential system. The House will now resume on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has refused to accept Yusuf Raza Gilani’s resignation as Senate Opposition Leader.
According to PPP sources, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appreciated Yusuf Raza Gilani’s statement on the Senate floor and said that the PPP was the only political party whose representatives felt accountable to the people. “Gilani fought for democracy and endured incarceration for serving the people,” sources said, citing Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. PPP sources said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appreciated the services of former Yusuf Raza Gilani for democracy, saying his services for democracy are a shining example for democrats today.
PPP sources said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari regretted the obviously partisan role played by the Senate Speaker and said that by siding with the government, the Senate Speaker had once again tainted his post and set a precedent. most unfortunate.