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Nawab Sanaullah Zehri resigned from his position

10 January, 2018

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QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri on Tuesday resigned from his position after disgruntled Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) legislators as well as opposition parties threatened to oust him through a no-confidence motion in the Balochistan Assembly.

The resignation tendered by Zehri to Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai was immediately accepted. “In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause-8 of Article 130 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Governor Balochistan is pleased to accept the resignation tendered by Nawaz Sanaullah Khan Zehri, Chief Minister Balochistan, the 9th January, 2018,” read a notification issued by the provincial government. “Consequent upon the resignation of the Chief Minister Balochistan, the provincial ministers and advisors to the chief minister Balochistan, shall also cease to hold their offices, with immediate effect,” it concluded.

Reports said the chief minister was advised by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to resign after efforts to persuade the opposition a day earlier failed. The resignation came hours before a scheduled Balochistan Assembly session where the opposition was to move the no-trust motion.

In a statement following his resignation, Zehri said that he did not wish to cause problems in the political setup of the province. He added that he was not in the habit of hanging onto the power at any cost.

Speaking to reporters, the former chief minister thanked all coalition parties for supporting him. He said he had ever-lasting friendly ties with all members of the provincial assembly.

“Power is a temporary thing… we will go to masses again,” he remarked, adding that being chief of Jhalanwala tribe was more important to him than the chair of the chief minister.

Former provincial minister Sarfraz Bugti later took to the Twitter to express his joy over the development.

PML-N leader and strong contender for the CM slot Jan Jamali told a private TV channel that the dynamics of the PML-N in Balochistan were different from that in other parts of Pakistan. While responding to a question about the next possible chief minister of the province and role of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in it, Jamali said, ‘We will take the decision ourselves. My ancestors were in the Muslim League way before Nawaz Sharif was.”

A no-confidence motion was submitted against Zehri on January 2 by MPAs Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Syed Agha Raza which had the signatures of 14 provincial lawmakers.

In order to retain his position as chief minister, Zehri required the support of 33 members in a House of 65.

A political crisis developed in Balochistan following the no-confidence motion, with efforts stepped up by the PML-N, which has a government both in the Centre and province, to defuse the situation.

A day earlier, disgruntled PML-N lawmakers as well as opposition members had refused to meet Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Quetta. “We have decided not to meet the prime minister,” Leader of the Opposition Maulana Abdul Wasey had told a private TV channel on Monday, explaining that he and his followers could not ‘ride two boats’. “We are at the point of no return,” Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, the former home minister for Balochistan, had said. “I have a good relationship with the prime minister, but this is a political decision,” he had maintained.

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