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PPP, PTI throw weight behind Sadiq Sanjrani

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Sunday announced to support Sadiq Sanjrani, an independent senator-elect from Balochistan, for the slot of Senate chairman.
Speaking to media alongside Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bazinjo, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto announced to field Saleem Mandviwala for the deputy chairman slot in the election scheduled to take place on Monday (today).
Replying to a question about the number of senators the PPP has in hand, Bilawal, in a lighter vein, said he wouldn’t answer the question as it would help Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Accusing the federation of spending 90 percent of country’s budget for development projects in Punjab, the PPP chief said that the time had arrived to give rights to the smaller provinces.
Sources said Bizenjo has assured the PPP of support for the party’s candidate for deputy chairman in return for their support for Sanjrani.
Earlier in the day, Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo held a meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan at his Bani Gala residence along with independent senators from the province. Following the meeting, a PTI spokesperson informed the media that the party would support Sanjrani for the Senate chairman slot.
During the meeting, the PTI also agreed to support the PPP candidate for the post of deputy chairman as per an agreement with Bizenjo. “As per our promise to the Balochistan CM, we will support the PPP’s candidate for deputy chairman of the Senate,” Khan assured the delegation.
Imran Khan later told reporters during a visit to Faisalabad that during the meeting with Bizenjo, he had been asked to support the Balochistan CM’s panel, which included a deputy chairman nominated by the PPP. The PTI chief added that he agreed to support Bizenjo’s panel as mitigating the sense of deprivation among the citizens of Balochistan was essential.
Earlier, the PTI chief had proposed that Senate chairman should be from Balochistan while the deputy chairman should come from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). “We will strive to make Senate chairman from Balochistan, while deputy chairman should be from FATA in order to recognise their sacrifices in the war on terror,” he had said last week while talking to media in Islamabad.
Also on Sunday, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a consultative meeting of the PML-N in Islamabad. The meeting was summoned to discuss the possible nominees from the PML-N and its allies for the Senate top slots.
National Party chief Hasil Bizenjo told reporters after the meeting that the meeting has finalised names for the chairman and deputy chairman slots. However, he stopped short of revealing the names, saying they would wait for an announcement from the PPP.
The PML-N had suggested the name of PPP senior leader and outgoing Senate chairman Raza Rabbani for the top slot. Bizenjo said the PML-N would back Rabbani if he is fielded by the PPP for the chairman slot, otherwise Nawaz Sharif would announce the PML-N candidates on Monday morning.
Paktunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Mehmood Khan Achakzai has, meanwhile, proposed the names of PML-N’s Mushahidullah and Pervez Rasheed for the chairman and deputy chairman slots.
President Mamnoon Hussain has already summoned a session of the Senate on March 12 (today), wherein newly elected senators will be sworn in at 10am.
Nomination papers for Senate chairman and deputy chairman will then be submitted in the Senate Secretariat at noon. The nomination papers will be reviewed at 2pm after which another session will be summoned at 4pm the same day, wherein the chairman and deputy chairman will be elected.

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