Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri contacted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday, seeking the latter's help in defeating a no-confidence motion against him in the provincial assembly, well-placed sources at Sharif's Jati Umra residence told DawnNews.

During the phone call between the two PML-N leaders, Zehri apprised Sharif of the political situation in Balochistan and requested his help regarding the political crisis unfolding in the province, the source said.

The government in Balochistan led by Zehri faced a sudden crisis last week when some treasury MPAs filed a no-confidence motion and important ministers and advisers — notably home minister Sarfraz Bugti and fisheries minister Sarfaraz Domki — switched camps, sparking a series of resignations and sackings.

Following the development, Zehri's coalition partners — the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) and the National Party (NP) — publicly offered him some words of support, even as at least one of NP's own MPA was among signatories of the motion.

Terming the no-confidence motion a conspiracy, the PML-N president told Zehri that the moves were a part of a plan to prevent Senate elections — scheduled for March — from happening on time, the source said.

According to the source, Sharif assured Zehri that undemocratic behaviour would not be accepted and that the people's mandate was the first priority of PML-N.

'Assembly dissolution won’t hit Senate polls'

According to politicians, lawyers and constitutional experts interviewed by Dawn, even the dissolution of Balochistan Assembly — let alone a no-confidence motion against Zehri — will have no impact on the Senate elections as they will go ahead on time.

Unless the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies are also dissolved, 11 missing Senators from Balochistan, in case of the assembly's dissolution, will only play a role if a closely fought battle is experienced for the chairman and deputy chairman positions of the upper house.