PPP lawmakers call for punishment of disloyal senators.

A number of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmakers want their leadership to take action against these senators who had supported Yousuf Raza Gilani at the time of his nomination as the opposition leader and caused a rift within the opposition's alliance, after getting 'ditched' for a second time in less than three months by a 'group of six independents' sitting on the opposition benches in the Senate.

'The parties in the opposition must carry out a purge of the soft-at-heart members and those senators who sit on the opposition benches but vote for the treasury,' said PPP Senator Raza Rabbani in a statement on Saturday, a day after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government narrowly managed to get the crucial State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill passed from the opposition-controlled Senate.

'Yesterday (Friday) was a collective day of shame for the parliament, in particular the Senate, when it passed a document of surrender, a document which financially makes Pakistan a colony of the international donors and imperialists,' said Mr Rabbani.

'The history and future generations of Pakistan will not forgive us - the parliamentarians for this act,' he said.

According to Mr Rabbani, it was also a sad day as it once again saw the opposition in the Senate crumbled, despite having a majority.

'This joke has gone far enough,' he said in an apparent reference to the six independent senators led by Dilawar Khan, who had been sitting on the opposition benches, but always voted for the government.

Despite having a clear majority in the 100-member Senate, the opposition on Friday failed to prevent the passage of the controversial SBP bill which was passed with a mere one-vote majority. At least eight opposition senators, including opposition leader Yusuf Raza Gilani, skipped the session, while at least four members of the Dilawar Khan-group voted in favour of the government bill.

The opposition had earlier faced a similar defeat on four bills in the Senate on November 19 when members of the same independents' group had voted in support of the government.

The six independent senators elected in 2018 had been sitting on the treasury benches before Senate elections in March last year and all of a sudden they submitted an application to the Senate chairman seeking allocation of seats on the opposition benches.

They later through a letter to the Senate chairman supported Mr Gilani for the opposition leader's office for which the Pakistan Muslim...

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