Islamabad: Former Prime Minister and Opposition leader in the Senate, Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday said that the PPP has the stance that we must not leave any parliamentary option unchallenged and that is the reason he contested Senate elections and defeated government’s candidate.
He was accompanied by former Prime Minister, Raja Parvaiz Ashraf and former Chairman Senate and Secretary General PPP, Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani said that the parliament is the voice of the people and cannot be ignored. He said that we were ready for the long march and all the preparations were in place. Then the resignations were bracketed with the long march which was a new thing for us. The PPP wanted to consult its CEC and the PDM allowed us time to do so.
The issue of the leader of opposition was discussed in a smaller committee of PDM. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has also said in that meeting that we the PPP are the largest party of opposition in the Senate hence we have the right to get the position of Opposition leader in the Senate. President Asif Ali Zardari made contacts with other parties in the PDM and several parties also contacted us and said that this position of leader of the Opposition in the Senate is the right of the PPP being the single largest opposition party in the Senate.
Gillani said that Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami National Party also promised us of their votes. The independent Senators from former FATA also supported the PPP. Senator Dilawar who has been affiliated with PML-N has formed a group of four Senators also supported us thus we had the support of 30 Senators of opposition. He said that he had won the Chairman Senate election but that matter is in the court now.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman had contacted President Asif Ali Zardari and said that no controversial statement will be issued but today a senior office bearer of the PML-N has said that we have muster the majority with the help of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) which is not correct. We should not issue such statement for the sake of PDM. We want PDM to be intact to struggle against price-hike, poverty and unemployment and for supremacy of the constitution. He said that he was the first unanimously elected Prime Minister of Pakistan and assures PDM that we will remain together. He said that he will continue to fight for the rights of the people as the Opposition leader in the Senate.
The former Prime Minister dispelled rumors of differences arising in the PDM and stressed that his appointment as Leader of the Opposition was a win for the anti-government movement.
Earlier, PPP Senator Yousaf Raza Gillani was appointed as Leader of the Opposition in Upper House of the Parliament.
The notification issued by Senate Secretariat read, “In pursuance of Rule 16 (3) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012, the Chairman Senate has been pleased to declare Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate with effect from March 26, 2021.”
Yousaf Raza Gillani had submitted his nomination papers with the signatures of 30 senators which included 21 from PPP, two from Awami National Party (ANP), one from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), two former members of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and four senators from Dilawar Khan’s independent group.