Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri resigns

January 9, 2018

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri resigned on Tuesday prior to a no-confidence motion being taken up against him in the provincial assembly. The resignation tendered to Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai has been accepted.

Zehri’s decision came after he was advised by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to resign in light of the no-confidence motion. According to sources, Abbasi advised the chief minister to resign to control the political situation in the province following his visit to Quetta.

The prime minister has also taken notice of the role of provincial lawmakers for letting the situation come to its present stage. The prime minister had travelled to Quetta on Monday as a no-confidence motion against Zehri gained momentum and was said to have the support of majority lawmakers of the assembly, leading to fears of the chief minister’s removal from office.

Meanwhile, Former Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said that new chief minister will be selected after mutual consultation, and will not necessarily belong to the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).

Addressing media after the resignation of Sanaullah Zehri as chief minister before a no-confidence motion could be moved agaisnt him, Bugti hailed the decision and said  Zehri has resigned based on democratic principles.

“This is politics. We have no personal vendettas. Our relation with him (Zehri) is based on respect and trust and will remain,” he said.

He added that it was a good example set by Zehri to have resign based on democratic principles and that an in-house change had come in the provincial assembly.

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

In order to retain his position as chief minister, Zehri required the support of 33 members from 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.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday afternoon, Wasay said they had the support of 41 provincial lawmakers. A day earlier, PML-Q lawmaker Abdul Quddus Bizenjo had also claimed of having the support of 40 legislators against Zehri. According to reports, ten disgruntled MPAs from the PML-N were also supposed to vote for the no-confidence motion. DNA/INP