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    Tuesday, 9 January 2018

    CM Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri resigned: Sarfraz Bugti

    Balochistan Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti has said that Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri has resigned.On his twitter account, Bugti wrote Alhundullilah CM Balochistan has resigned. According to sources Zehri reached Governor House to meet Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai. Sources claimed that he presented his resignation to the governor during meeting. 
    Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi yesterday arrived in the provincial capital to try to save PML-N-led coalition government, which appeared to be slipping through the fingers of the ruling party.Balochistan Assembly is meeting today to take up the no-trust motion filed against Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri , whose government has been battered by a number of desertions.
    Constitutionally, the house is to vote on the opposition motion within a week, but extraordinary steps ordered by the speaker suggest that voting will take place even today.
    At least 33 votes are required in the 65-member house to topple the government and both sides are claiming of having enough support to serve their respective causes.
    At least 27 MPAs have publically announced their support for the no-trust motion signed by 14 lawmakers, while opposition quarters claim they now have around 40 votes in their pocket.
    Landing of the prime minister and three other central PML-N figures in Quetta shows that Zehri is in deep trouble.
    Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri is expected to resign from his post on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's advice after he remained unable to contain a mushrooming political crisis in the province, provincial lawmakers belonging to the PML-N have told DawnNews.
    The province's lawmakers had previously expressed a lack of confidence in the CM citing "unfulfilled commitments", and important ministers and advisers had recently turned dissidents, sparking a series of resignations and sackings.
    PM Abbasi is said to have advised CM Zehri to resign after Baloch opposition leaders rejected his invitations for a meeting, during which he was expected to attempt garnering some support for the beleaguered CM.
    "We have decided not to meet the Prime Minister", Leader of the Opposition Maulana Abdul Wasey had told DawnNews, explaining that he and his followers could not "ride two boats."
    The opposition lawmakers were expected to table a no-confidence motion against CM Zehri in the provincial assembly today, with Speaker Raheela Durrani presiding over the crucial session.
    Zehri has reportedly been asked to resign ahead of the session to spare the PML-N further embarrassment on the matter.
    The session was called after 14 members of the assembly on opposition benches had filed a motion of no-confidence against Zehri. The opposition had cited "unfulfilled commitments" as the reason for their move.
    The house comprises 65 members, and 33 members are required for a successful push against the incumbent chief minister. It appears that, with its eight MPAs, the opposition Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has the key to the success or failure of the move.

    'Point of no return'

    A day earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had travelled to Quetta to meet with opposition leaders in an effort to garner support for beleaguered CM Zehri. However, the opposition had refused to meet with the prime minister.
    Some members of the PML-N, too, had refused to meet with Abbasi.
    "We are at the point of no return," Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, the former home minister for Balochistan, had said. He added, "I have a good relationship with the prime minister, but this is a political decision."
    PM Abbasi nonetheless met members of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party (NP) and members of the PML-N who continue to support CM Zehri in devising a strategy to defeat the no-trust motion. No statement regarding the meeting, which went on till late into the night, was issued.

    A well-thought-out power manoeuvre

    The no-confidence motion is a move some political pundits consider not simple happenstance, but a well-thought-out power manoeuvre undertaken with one eye on the upcoming Senate elections.
    With 11 Senators from Balochistan set to retire in March, there is an opportunity for the ruling PML-N to increase its Senate membership, where it currently only has 21 legislators out of the total 65.
    To do so, however, it is imperative that the party retain its strength in the Balochistan Assembly, which will elect Senators to the upper house.
    This is why recent reports of cracks forming within the party — to which CM Zehri himself belongs — is a major blow for the PML-N.
    So far, the turmoil in the Balochistan Assembly has seen former home minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, Sardar Sarfaraz Domki and Prince Ahmed Ali tender their resignations, with Bugti claiming on Wednesday that more will follow in days to come.
    Judging by the mood setting in, it seems the CM will find it difficult to keep his parliamentary party united in these crucial times.
    He has, however, started playing his own cards, with the sacking of PML-Q's Mir Amanullah Notezai as his special assistant on excise and taxation being his first counter-move.
    In the midst of this crisis, Zehri did heave a sigh of relief when two of his government's coalition partners — the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) and the National Party (NP) — publicly offered him some words of support.
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