Pakistan’s upper house elects opposition-backed  chairman

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    By Muhammad Luqman

A senator from  province of Balochistan , was elected and sworn in as Chairman of upper house of  Pakistan on Monday evening after he secured 57 votes out of the total 103 cast for the seat. His election as the first-ever Senate chairman from Balochistan marked the day’s second historic development . The first had been the swearing in of Senator Krishna Kohli, a Hindu woman from Thar desert  earlier in the day. Polling  was held in Senate building  through  secret ballot. The counting was held shortly after the final vote was cast, with a nominee of each bloc overseeing the process. As soon as Sanjrani was formally announced as elected Chairman of the Senate, he was promptly sworn in. 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). PML-N veteran Raja Zafarul Haq, on the other hand, had been nominated by the ruling party and supported by its coalition partners. Sadiq Sanjrani, born on 14 April 1978 in Nok Kundi, in Pakistan’s South-western province of Balochistan. He received his early education from Nok Kundi and then moved to Islamabad from where he did masters. Sanjrani began his political career in 1998 as coordinator of the team of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif where he served until 1999 Pakistani coup d’état. In 2008, he was appointed in-charge of the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani Complaint Cell at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat where he remained for five years. During the tenure of Sanaullah Khan Zehri as Chief Minister of Balochistan, Sanjrani remained as his special assistant. Soon after Sanjran’s election, politicians took to the twitter. In a tweet, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto termed it a victory for Balochistan and federalism against “Zia’s opening batsman” Raja Zafarul Haq, fielded by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and its allies. Cricketer-turned-politician  tweeted,  “Congratulations to Baloch Senator Sadiq Sanjirani for becoming Chairman Senate. This will strengthen the federation. We are happy for the people of Balochistan & for the federation of Pakistan”. Leader of the National Party and Federal minister for ports and shipping, Hasil Bizenjo termed the victory of opposition-backed Chairman as the triumph of  anti-democratic forces. “ This is the blackest day in Pakistan history,” he said while speaking in the upper house.

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