QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has been given a 24-hour ultimatum, ending today at 5pm, to step down by members of his own cabinet and other lawmakers over what they said his failure to consult them in running the affairs of the province.
The warning to ‘leave the office in an honourable way’ came on Tuesday from a group comprising provincial ministers and lawmakers of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and its allies in the coalition government just four days after Mr Alyani had quit the BAP president’s office.
While addressing a press conference on the premises of the Balochistan Assembly, Finance Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi and Minister for Food Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran of the BAP, Minister for Social Welfare Sardar Mir Asad Baloch of Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A) and MPA Naseebullah Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) hinted at moving a no-confidence motion against Mr Alyani or asking him to take a fresh vote of confidence if the chief minister failed to resign by Wednesday evening.
Mr Buledi told the media that after holding talks with a reconciliation team, headed by Senate chairman, they had agreed to give 15 days to Chief Minister Alyani, adding that the 15-day period would be over on October 6 (today) at 5pm.
“Jam Kamal has lost the majority and confidence of the House and has no other option but to resign from the office of the chief minister till 5pm on Wednesday,” he said, adding that growing political unrest, bad governance and freezing of development work in the province were some of the reasons behind this mistrust.
While refuting the chief minister’s claim about winning support of some of them after meeting them, the disgruntled leaders of the coalition government said that the presence of 11 of their 14-member group at the presser indicated that moving a no-trust motion against Mr Alyani as leader of the house was no more difficult when the opposition too had been protesting against the indifference of the chief minister towards problems of the people.
They claimed that other group members including Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani were out of Quetta, but they would join them on Wednesday after reaching Quetta from Karachi and Islamabad.
Advisers to Chief Minister Akbar Askani, Mohammad Khan Lehri, Sikandar Umrani, Lala Rashid Baloch, parliamentary secretaries, Mahjabeen Sheeran, Bushra Rind of the BAP and Laila Tareen of the ANP were also present at the news conference.
The leaders asserted that after the passage of the deadline they would announce what other options they would use to bring about a change in the province. They complained that the chief minister allegedly ignored party and elected representatives in running the affairs of the coalition government by taking a solo-fight even on important decisions.
He had been repeatedly asked to change his conduct with other members of his cabinet, coalition partners and elected MPAs, but CM Alyani did not give any heed to their appeals. “Everyone including students, doctors, growers, workers, teachers and bureaucrats have become fed up with his dictatorial conduct,” the protesting leaders said.
Since they could not sacrifice the development of entire Balochistan province just for the sake of an individual, they said they decided for a change in the government.
“Instead of resigning from the office of chief minister, Mr Alyani and some of his aides were giving the impression that he had succeeded in dividing the group and mustered the support of at least six members,” Mr Khetran said, adding that the group members who were present in Quetta attended the presser.
CM Kamal enjoyed only the support of 13 to 14 members in the 65-member House, he claimed, adding that many members of coalition partners had also assured the group of their support.
Minister for Social Welfare Asadullah Baloch said Mr Kamal was repeatedly requested by cabinet members and other leaders to run the government with their consultation but he considered only himself wise and continued to run all matters in a despotic way. “We also asked him to reconsider his conduct,” he said.
He believed it was too late for the chief minister to visit the residences of disgruntled members, as he should step down immediately as he had been given an honourable passage. “If he does not resign by 5pm on October 6, we will make a big announcement, which might include tabling a no-confidence motion against him,” the minister said.
PTI lawmaker Mir Naseebullah Marri said other members of the party and allied parties were also in contact with them in their demand for change in the province.
Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2021