Joint opposition-backed Sadiq Sanjrani elected Senate chairman

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Independent candidate from Balochistan, backed by joint opposition Sadiq Sanjrani has won Senate election for chairmanship with as many as 57 votes against 46 of ruling party s candidate on Monday.

The Presiding Officer Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob made the announcement following which supporters of winning candidate thumped the desk.

Presiding Officer Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Nasir administrated the oath to the new elected Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani on Monday.

Sanjrani, an independent senator, had been backed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

His election as the first-ever Senate chairman from Balochistan marked the day’s second historic moment. The first had been the swearing in of Senator Krishna Kohli earlier in the day.

Soon after Sanjrani was formally announced as elected Chairman of the Senate, he was immediately sworn in and he began proceedings for the election of the deputy chairman.

Senator Sadiq Sanjrani had been backed by the joint opposition, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and independents from Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

On the other hand, PML-N veteran Raja Zafarul Haq had been nominated by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and supported by its coalition partners.

Earlier, Newly-elected members of the upper house took oath as Senators at a specially convened session of the house in Islamabad on Monday morning.

Senator Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir, who was nominated by the President to chair the session administered oath to the new members. Fifty-two of fifty-three newly elected Senators took oath today.

They included a member elected from Punjab against the seat vacated due to disqualification of Nehal Hashmi. Ishaq Dar, who is under treatment abroad, could not attend the session. After oath-taking the new members signed the roll of the house.

Three senators belonging to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) were initially absent namely, Maulana Faiz Muhammad, Abdul Ghafoor Hyderi and Attaur Rehman which could have served a blow to federally ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) but they returned before polling concluded.

Hailing from the Khan Bahadur family of Sanjrani tribe in Chaghi, he was elected as a senator on an independent ticket on March 3. He was later backed by the leading opposition groups, including PPP, PTI, MQM-P and independents from Balochistan, and FATA for the slot of Senate’s chairman.

The Senate chairman served on high profile government positions including Coordinator of Grievances Cell at Prime Minister’s Secretariat in 1999 and was also a member of the Prime Minister Inspection Commission.

He went on to serve as Chief Coordinator/Advisor, Prime Minister’s Grievances Wing, Prime Minister’s Secretariat in 2009.

Sanjrani has been also working as Sanjrani Mining Company’s Chief Executive and serving as Director/Chairman H.R Committee in the National Industrial Parks Development & Management Company and The Hub Power Company (HUBCO)

In addition, he worked as Director on several Sui Southern Gas Company boards along with Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal.

His cousin Sardar Atif Sanjrani had been a member of National Assembly from 1997 to 1999.

Born on April 14, 1978, Sanjrani got basic schooling in his native town Nokundi. He went to Islamabad for further education and obtained a master’s degree.

PTI, PPP and Balochistan panel, the three groups have joined the ranks of each other to bar PMLN. In the latest development, Bilawal Bhutto (chairman of PPP) has announced to support Sadiq Sanjrani for Senate chairmanship. He is also backed by PTI and Balochistan panel. If these three parties gain support from FATA members, they would be also be in the position to make sure appointment of their candidates on the aforementioned posts.

As per constitutional provisions, half of the senators retire every three years.