Controversy mars Ishaq Dar’s appointment as Leader of House in Senate


Ishaq Dar

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has put forth the name of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ishaq Dar as the Leader of the House in the Senate, with Senator Saleem Mandviwalla appointed as the Chief Whip Senate, holding a status equivalent to that of a State Minister, according to reliable sources.

The decision has raised objections from the Pakistan People Party (PPP), expressing discontent with the nomination of Ishaq Dar. Caretaker Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi conveyed that the appointment of Ishaq Dar as Leader of the House and Saleem Mandviwalla as Chief Whip had been endorsed by Caretaker Prime Minister Kakar.

Responding to concerns about the status of leaders and the chief whip after the constitutional tenure of the last government, the minister clarified that, as per parliamentary traditions, they would continue their responsibilities. He said a notification has been re-issued about Saleem Mandviwalla’s appointment as Chief Whip.

On October 31, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani asserted that he had the Caretaker Prime Minister’s approval to retain Ishaq Dar as Leader of the House. However, during a special session, PPP leader Shahadat Awan questioned the use of the title, considering the absence of an elected government.

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani defended the decision, citing consent from Caretaker PM Kakar for Ishaq Dar to continue as the Leader of the House.

Notably, on September 30, outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had appointed Ishaq Dar as Leader of the House in the Senate. Dar, returning from a self-imposed exile, took the oath as a senator and subsequently assumed the role of Finance Minister. His appointment had earlier been approved by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, succeeding Senator Azam Tarar. Dar, who previously served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate in 2012, had left the country in 2017 while facing a corruption trial.

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