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ISLAMABAD: The ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) on Tuesday appointed Zahoor Buledi as its acting-president after Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan stepped down as party president amid mounting pressure in the wake of a no-confidence motion moved against him by the estranged party members in provincial assembly of Balochistan.

However, the sword of Damocles is still hanging over the head of Kamal, as Prime Minister Imran Khan, in consultation with Governor Balochistan Syed Zahoor Agha, will soon decide his fate.

Governor Balochistan is currently in Islamabad to meet the Prime Minister and seek his guidance on the matter, though the time of the meeting was not decided till the filing of this report. The two will discuss the deepening political crisis in Balochistan and the no-confidence motion against Jam Kamal Khan.

Sources told Business Recorder that the Governor will not proceed with the no-confidence motion against the chief minister without consulting the Prime Minister - not for constitutional but political reasons - to avert the crisis from further aggravating.

"The Governor is here solely to discuss the no-confidence issue with Prime Minister Imran Khan, and if the issue cannot be resolved, the Governor will be asked to convene the assembly session," said a senior PTI leader on condition of anonymity.

The Balochistan Assembly has a total of 65 members and as per the constitution a no-confidence motion needs the signatures of 20 percent, or 13 members. The no-confidence motion has been signed by 14 members.

Buledi, a former provincial finance minister, has said that 14 MPAs belonging to BAP, PTI and other coalition parties signed the motion which was submitted to the provincial assembly secretariat on October 11. He further maintained that the disgruntled members of the ruling coalition have got the backing of the opposition parties, evident from an earlier no-confidence motion against the chief minister in September.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), the major opposition party with 11 members in the provincial assembly, has refused to support the chief minister.

JUI-F secretary-general Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said that his party has expressed its inability to extend any support to the chief minister Kamal and would support the no-confidence against him.

Referring to his earlier meeting with the chief minister, Haideri said that he came to see him a few days back, seeking the support of his party, but after consultation with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, he was conveyed that it is not possible.

"He [CM] had adopted an undemocratic and inappropriate behaviour with the opposition during the last three years of his rule, due to which we cannot extend any support to him," he added.

The no-confidence motion, signed by 14 lawmakers, was submitted to the secretariat of the Balochistan Assembly after the disgruntled BAP members decided to file the motion following the expiry of a 24-hour deadline given to the chief minister to step down.

The MPAs including Saeed Hashmi, Jan Jamali, Naseebullah Marri, Zahoor Buledi, Asad Baloch, and Abdul Rehman Khetran presented the no-confidence to provincial assembly speaker on Monday.

PTI MPA Naseebullah Marri said that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) had been a part of the ruling coalition in Balochistan from the day one, adding the chief minister should step down as he has lost the confidence of the majority due to his poor performance during the last three years.

On 14 September, 2021, 16 members of the opposition had filed a no-trust motion against the chief minister. However, the Governor House Secretariat had returned the motion to the Balochistan Assembly on technical grounds.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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