Balochistan crisis deepens as three ministers, two advisers resign

Published October 7, 2021
QUETTA: Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani presiding over a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. — APP
QUETTA: Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani presiding over a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. — APP

QUETTA: Political crisis in Balo­ch­istan deepened on Wednesday when a group of disgruntled ministers, advisers and parliamentary secretaries submitted their resignations to the provincial governor after an embattled Jam Kamal Khan Alyani ignored the 24-hour deadline set by his opponents for him to step down as chief minister.

Official sources said the angry group met Governor Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha at the Governor House late in night and handed over their resignations to him.

Those who resigned were Minister for Finance Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Minister for Food Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, Minister for Social Welfare Mir Asad Baloch, advisers to the CM Akbar Askani and Mohammad Khan Lehri, parliamentary secretaries Bushra Rind, Mahjabeen Sheeran, Lala Rashid Baloch and Sikander Umrani.

Most of the members of the angry group belongs to the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

CM Alyani while refusing to give in to their demand went ahead to preside over a cabinet meeting which discussed a 28-point agenda.

Unfazed CM holds cabinet meeting in show of strength

Earlier, Mir Buledi said if Mr Alyani did not step down then his group would submit a no-confidence motion against the chief minister in the next two days.

“We have written our resignations, which will be submitted soon,” Asad Baloch, Minister for Social Welfare and secretary general of the Baloch­istan National Party (BNP-Awami), told journalists on the Balochistan Assembly premises after a meeting held earlier in the day.

It may be mentioned that Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani resigned from his office three months ago after developing differences with the chief minister.

“Our group has decided not to budge from its stand about minus-one formula that is the resignation of Jam Kamal Khan Alyani,” Asad Baloch said.

He said the group had suggested a respectable way for the chief minister, but he did not accept it and failed to submit his resignation despite the passage of the 24-hour deadline.

“We are not ready to sacrifice the entire province just for an individual,” he said.

In reply to a question, he said a team of the chief minister, led by ministers and Senator Danesh Kumar, once again came for talks and said the chief minister was ready to address reservations of the angry group, but the group told the government delegation that it was not ready to take back its demand for the resignation of the chief minister.

Mr Baloch further said that the group members had signed the no-confidence motion which would be submitted after some other members of the group reached Quetta, including Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo and Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani.

He said the group had the support of 38 to 40 members and it was confident of the success of the no-trust motion.

Meanwhile, a team of the chief minister’s side comprising provincial ministers Mir Gorham Bugti, Mir Omer Khan Jamali, Meetha Khan Kakar, Abdul Khan Khaliq Hazara and Senator Danesh Kumar held a meeting with Mir Baloch in his chamber in the Balochistan Assembly and delivered a message of the chief minster about removing the grievances of his opponents and resolving all issues with mutual understanding and talks.

After the meeting with Mr Baloch, the Adviser to the Chief Minister on Local Government, Mir Gorham Bugti, told journalists: “We are making efforts to remove all differences thro­ugh negotiations between the chief minister and angry ministers and MPAs so the process of development could be resumed in the province.

“The coalition government comprises 40 members. Of these 40 members, 14 are with the angry group and all others are with the chief minister. It is our desire to sit on the table and find out a solution to the issue,” Gorham Bugti said.

Speaking on the occasion, Abdul Khaliq Hazara said the minus-one formula was not acceptable for the government alliance.

He said that everything was possible in politics. One could take a stand on an issue and the stand could be changed also, he said.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2021

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