Following the March 2 elections, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazlur Rehman group (JUI-F) is facing troubles in upholding its top opposition slot in Senate.

In a bid to save the position of opposition leader in the upper house of parliament, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri and his party are working to convince the allied parties.

SThe JUI-F’s strength has fallen to seven from 10, whereas the PML-N’s tally converted into double digits, from seven to 14.

Since all the PML-Q dissidents and members of other smaller parties are getting retired on March 11, the PML-N now faces no challenge from the seven-member JUI-F and one member Awami National Party (ANP) in grabbing the top opposition slot.

The JUI-F contacted PML-N leaders, requesting them to support Haidri so he can continue as Leader of the Opposition, but it is unlikely to be happened. The JUI-F will be in trouble with the same formula through which it held the position.

The chairman’s June 6 decision of appointing Maulana Haidri to replace PML-Q’s Wasim Sajjad marred the budget session after a 24-member group led by Senator Dar boycotted the budget debate.

Soon after the office of the opposition leader fell vacant in May when the PML-Q joined the ruling coalition, both Maulana Haidri and Ishaq Dar staked their claims for the office

The JUI-F, which was the largest opposition group with 10 senators, had submitted an application with the signatures of 11 members supporting Maulana Haidri whereas PML-N’s Ishaq Dar had submitted a similar application with the support of 24 senators belonging to the two splinter groups of the PML-Q and other parties.

The JUI-F, however, later managed to grab the office when they submitted a new application, which carried signatures of five independents from FATA and two from Balochistan.

Moreover, the JUI-F leader’s support increased when Chairman Senate nullified the votes of nine PML-Q dissidents who had decided to sit on the opposition benches. The boycott of a large number of opposition members forced the chairman to agree on a review of the decision, but only after listening to both sides.

But after a legal and technical debate, the chairman upheld his previous decision. Members of the Dar group threatened to take the matter to the Supreme Court, but eventually dropped the idea.

Now the chairman senate has to adopt same technical points and reference which was settled in that decision. If it happens, Ghafoor Haidri simply has to vacate the office of opposition leader for Dar.

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