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Opposition’s Rehbar Committee to declare joint candidate for Senate chairman on July 11

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The opposition’s anti-government ‘Rehbar Committee’ met on Friday to decide a future course of action, with the main item on the agenda being the removal of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) leader Akram Khan Durrani addressed the media soon after the meeting concluded to announce that he had been chosen convener for the next two months. The position will rotate among all member parties, he said.

Durrani also announced that the opposition parties had formally decided to remove Sanjrani from his post. A resolution will be submitted in Senate on July 9 in this regard, he said.

The opposition failed to reach a consensus on the replacement for Sanjrani, however, with Durrani saying that a name will be announced on July 11 after further deliberation.

Durrani also announced that the opposition would observe July 25, the anniversary of the 2018 general election, as a ‘black day’. All parties have also been asked to have their members resign from the parliamentary committee to probe election rigging.

“A new political order is being introduced in the country, which we are very concerned about,” Durrani said. “We condemn any such order. We also reject the posting of soldiers inside polling stations in [erstwhile] Fata.”

“We condemn the arrest of Rana Sanaullah and demand the production orders of two members of the National Assembly from erstwhile Fata,” Durrani added.

To a question about what the ‘new political order’ is, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi responded saying they were referring to rumours about a presidential system in the country.

When a reporter pointed out that the prime minister has publicly opposed the issuance of production orders to under investigation lawmakers, Nayyar Bukhari of the PPP said, “The prime minister has no right to issue or stop production orders. By doing so, he is denying people the right of representation.”

The meeting was attended by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal of the PML-N, Usman Kakar of PkMAP, Nayyar Hussain Bukhari and Farhatullah Babar of the PPP, Akram Khan Durrani of the JUI-F, Tahir Bizenjo of the NP, Owais Noorani of the JUP, Hashim Babar of the ANP and Mian Iftikhar Hussain of the QWP.