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Sanaullah Zehri bows to pressure, resigns as Balochistan chief minister

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri has stepped down from his post following mounting pressure in the wake of no-trust motion against him in the provincial assembly.

Moments before the decision was made public, former Balochistan minister Sarfraz Bugti had confirmed the resignation of Zehri in his tweet: “Alhumdulillah! CM Balochistan resigned.”

His tweet came at a time when Zehri was holding consultations with Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai at Governor House ahead of a crucial session of the Balochistan Assembly to take up a no-trust motion against him.

On January 2, the beleaguered chief minister had sacked Bugti. Soon after his sacking, the former home minister, however, claimed that he had submitted resignation and the reports of his dismissal were untrue.

Chief minister balochistan Sanaullah Zehri

Earlier, sources claimed that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has advised Sanaullah Zehri to resign after he failed to garner the support to defeat the no-trust motion against him.

They said the premier after consultation with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Nawaz Sharif asked the chief minister to step down.

Spokesperson for the chief minister Jan Achakzai, however, rejected such reports, saying there was no truth in these reports.

He said the government will defeat the opposition’s no-rust move in a democratic way.

He claimed that the chief minister enjoyed the support of enough MPAs to foil the motion.

The Background

The unending episode of submitting resignations by the provincial cabinet members, advisers and secretaries began in the first of January after a no-trust motion against Zehri was moved in the provincial assembly.

As many as 14 MPAs expressed lack of confidence in the chief minister over resolving the issues.

On Friday (Jan 5), the embattled provincial government suffered another blow after one more cabinet member and the provincial chief minister’s recently appointed special assistant on excise and taxation submitted their resignations to the governor, escalating the political crisis in the province.

Special assistant on excise and taxation Mir Abdul Majid Abro excused assuming the post two days after his appointment allegedly owing to ‘personal engagements’.

Abro was appointed by Zehri as his special assistant on excise and taxation after sacking Amanullah Notezai on Wednesday.

On the other hand, Minister for Labour & Manpower Ms Rahat Jamali has also tendered her resignation to the governor.

Previously, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti and Minister of Fisheries Mir Sarfraz Chakar Domki submitted their resignations to the governor and chief minister respectively.

The motion of no trust against Zehri has been submitted under Article 136 of the Constitution.

Why a no trust motion was moved against Zehri?

MPA Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo moved the motion against Zehri for allegedly failing to resolve the issues the province is facing.

Mr Bizenjo told the media that the provincial government has been failed to address their reservations with regard to the previous provincial budget.

The chief minister was not serious about resolving the issues and this is the reason they have moved the motion of no confidence against him, Bizenjo said.

According to officials, the speaker Balochistan Assembly had summoned the assembly session on Jan 9 to proceed on the no-trust move.

On the other hand, the coalition partners — National Party and PkMAP — had pledged to support the chief minister.

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