Balochistan CM should ‘step down’

Opposition leader says ministers, advisers’ resignation show Kamal has lost confidence


Our Correspondent October 08, 2021

QUETTA:

The opposition parties in the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday demanded that Chief Minister Jam Kamal should resign now that he had lost the confidence of his ministers and advisers.

In the wee hours of the day, three disgruntled provincial ministers, two advisers to the chief minister, and four parliamentary secretaries submitted their resignations to the province’s governor in protest against Kamal.

Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Sana Baloch said the united opposition parties (UOP) in the provincial assembly had agreed that Kamal no longer had the right to rule the province after the development.

He was speaking to the media after a delegation of the UOP met with former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani.

The delegation, led by opposition leader Malik Sikandar Khan Advocate, called on Raisani at his residence and discussed the political situation in the province, especially after the resignation of provincial ministers.

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He said that an unconstitutional government has been formed in the province.

"What is the point of convening a meeting of the Balochistan Assembly under Article 130 (7) of the Constitution in which the chief minister casts a vote of confidence?” he questioned.

“If the chief minister does not attend the meeting, he will automatically lose confidence and will not hold the post anymore.”

A group of provincial cabinet members met Governor Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha late at night and handed over their resignations to him.

They included Provincial Finance Minister Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Provincial Food Minister Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran and Provincial Social Welfare Minister Mir Asad Baloch; advisers Akbar Askani and Muhammad Khan Lehri; and parliamentary secretaries Bushra Rind, Mahjbeen Sheeran, Lala Rashid Baloch and Sikander Umrani.

The deadlock between the chief minister and estranged members of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party has persisted as the 24-hour deadline given to the CM drew to an end on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the disgruntled ministers of the Balochistan government and lawmakers of the provincial assembly had given the chief minister a deadline to step down in a “dignified” manner, warning that otherwise, they would move a no-confidence motion against him.

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Irked by the chief minister’s “stubborn” resistance to the demand seeking his resignation, five members of the cabinet on Wednesday decided to resign. The provincial cabinet members, including three ministers and two advisers to the chief minister, submitted their resignation letters to Buledi.

Eleven members of the provincial assembly, including one each from the Balochistan National Party-Awami and PTI, had moved a no-confidence motion against CM Kamal.

The estranged faction would now submit a no-confidence motion against the chief minister soon.

“We have written our resignations, which would be submitted soon,” Asad Baloch told the media on the premises of Balochistan Assembly on Wednesday evening.

“Our group remains determined and will not back out from its stance. We allowed him [chief minister] a reasonable time to quit in a dignified way. But since that hasn’t happened, we are not willing to sacrifice the entire province just for one individual.”

Responding to a question, Asad said pro-CM members had approached the group once again to offer an olive branch and bridge the chasm through talks. However, he added, the dissidents were still adamant about their demands.

He said the members of the group had already signed the no-confidence motion which would be tabled after more members sign on it. “Our group is gaining momentum with the required numbers of members flooding in to mount no-trust motion,” he said.

"We said that we have already given Jam Kamal three years, we can't spare any more time,” he added.

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