Crisis in Balochistan deepens as two more ministers resign

QUETTA: The crisis in Balochistan deepened on Friday as two more ministers — Rahat Jamali and Newly appointed adviser to CM Abdul Majid Abro — tendered their resignation from the Balochistan cabinet and joined those supporting the no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri.

Zehri had appointed Abdul Majid Abro as adviser on excise and taxation just two days ago to strengthen his camp against a no-confidence motion, but Abro resigned and announced his support for Zehri’s opponents.

The resignations have increased the turmoil in the provincial government. Muslim Leaguers from the Quaid and Nawaz factions have defected or revolted against the chief minister, citing a variety of reasons.

Balochistan home minister Sarfaraz Bugti decides to resign

Nawab Zehri’s favourite and most trusted colleague – Mir Sarfraz Bugti – had resigned and left the home ministry after former deputy speaker Abdul Qudus Bizenjo submitted a no-confidence motion against the chief minister on January 2.

Later, Mir Chakar Domki, Prince Ahmed Ali, and other PML N leaders tendered their resignations and announced their support for the no-confidence motion.

However, the National Party and the PkMAP have not budged and offered rock-solid support to the chief minister, while his own party comrades defected, making the government extremely vulnerable.

The chief minister is relying on both coalition partners to defeat the move and at the same time, making efforts to retain the majority or defeat the motion on the floor of the assembly.

Two top Muslim Leaguers — Sarfraz Bugti and Qudus Bizenjo —are highly vocal in the chief minister’s opposition, claiming discrimination and denial of development funds and powers, while others maintained they had been sidelined in the decision-making process.

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Even former chief minister Jan Jamali had taken a back seat in the wake of the present crisis. It seems he is not a candidate for the chief minister’s slot if Nawab Zehri is overthrown in the no-trust vote on Jan 9.

Political pundits are citing the statements and fears of the top PML-N leadership, claiming that it is a serious move to sabotage the scheduled Senate elections and hamper the PML-N efforts to get favourable results in the March elections.

They have gone to the extent of expecting dissolution of the provincial assembly.

“Though PkMAP and National Party are fully supporting Nawab Zehri, being provincial president of the PML-N, it is also his responsibility to keep his party intact,” said senior journalist Abdul Khaliq Rind.

Rind said the central leadership of the PML-N should intervene in the political crisis to save Zehri’s regime.

“Balochistan had achieved notoriety for buying and selling votes during the Senate elections and in case of dissolution of the Balochistan Assembly, corrupt and dishonest MPAs will be losers in terms of tens of millions per vote,” a young journalist Shah Nawaz said.

Sarfraz Bugti and Qudus Bizenjo told the media that they were paying due respect as a tribal elder to Zehri.

“However, we have differences on political issues for which they have moved the no-trust motion.”

According to the sources, the Balochistan chief minister offered the JUI-F three ministries and the deputy speakership if it supports him.

However, the Senate Deputy Chairman Ghafoor Hadiri of JUI-F said, “We will sit in the opposition. I can’t see the Balochistan government surviving the no-confidence motion.”

Zehri called the secretaries of relevant departments and sought details of requirement

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