Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Yousuf Raza Gilani announced on Monday that he has submitted his resignation as the opposition leader in the Senate to his party leadership.
Speaking on the floor of the upper house of Parliament, the former prime minister slammed Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani for voting in favour of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill, 2021.
“It happened for the first time in the country’s history that the Senate chairman voted [in the government’s favour]. You are the custodian of the house and not the government. You should be impartial,” he went on.
“The opposition had a majority in the House before the 30-minute adjournment,” Gillani claimed.
Yousuf Raza Gilani said the notice his office received about the Senate session made no mention of the bill that was going to be tabled for voting. Issuing the session’s agenda late at night was uncalled for, he added.
“I don’t want to serve as the opposition leader anymore and have submitted my resignation to the party,” the PPP leader said.
In an indirect reference to his absence from Friday’s session, “I am not surprised by the criticism by my opponents but felt pain over the silence of his own people.”
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Monday took PPP leadership to the task and said their top leaders should have owned the fiasco in the upper house during major legislation.
“Yousuf Raza Gilani is a noble man. Bilawal and Zardari should have resigned on whose instructions senators did not appear [in the Upper House on the day of voting for State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill],” he said in a tweet.
He said the senior leaders of both the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were not only perturbed by their leadership’s attitude, but also felt humiliated.
The minister welcomed ‘the change’ arising out in the two parties.
The political parties in the country must give the system a chance to the system to move forward a positive environment. The resignations, protests, and fights for mere publicities and politics won’t be good in favour of the country.
The Senate on Friday passed the controversial State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) amendment bill with a razor-thin majority of one vote, which the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said became possible due to the cooperation extended by the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Opposition Leader in the Senate Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani who is also the former prime minister, preferred attending a friend’s funeral over the most important sitting of the Senate that handed over absolute autonomy to the central bank. Some members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, JUI-F, and Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party did not attend the session while the lone member of the Awami National Party also skipped the final voting, helping the government get the bill passed with 43-42 majority.
On the condition of the International Monetary Fund, the government had proposed about 54 amendments in the SBP Act of 1956. After approval of the bill by the Senate, Pakistan has met the last remaining condition for holding the IMF executive board meeting to revive the stalled $6 billion bailout programme.