‘Hopefuls’ quit caretaker set-up ahead of poll schedule

Published December 16, 2023
Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti speaks in an interview with Independent Urdu, which was published on Nov 24, 2023. — Photo courtesy Independent Urdu
Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti speaks in an interview with Independent Urdu, which was published on Nov 24, 2023. — Photo courtesy Independent Urdu

ISLAMABAD/QUETTA: Caretaker Interior Minister Senator Sarfaraz Bugti on Friday resigned from the federal cabinet, sources told Dawn.

 Balochistan caretaker Minister for Sports and Culture Nawabzada Jamal Raisani. — Government of Balochistan website
Balochistan caretaker Minister for Sports and Culture Nawabzada Jamal Raisani. — Government of Balochistan website

In a related development, Balochistan caretaker Minister for Sports and Culture, Nawabzada Jamal Raisani and Adviser to the Chief Minister on Mines and Minerals, Mir Umair Muhammad Hasni, also resigned from the interim provincial cabinet on Friday.

They said that Mr Bugti had submitted his resignation to caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Dec 13 “citing some personal reasons”, which the latter accepted on Friday afternoon, hours before issuance of the poll schedule by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the light of Supreme Court’s verdict, asserting that the elections in the country will be held on Feb 8.

A source close to Mr Bugti revealed that he resigned from the cabinet with the intention of contesting the upcoming general elections. Sources said he had resigned before issuance of the election schedule as under the law, the members of a caretaker set-up cannot take part in the elections.

Mr Bugti belongs to the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and had been elected as a senator from Balochistan in 2021.

The 42-year-old Mr Bugti had previously served as interior minister for Balochistan after winning the election in 2013. He won as an independent candidate, but later joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Sources did not rule out the possibility of him rejoining the PML-N before the next polls.

Since the interior ministry has a key role to play in security arrangements both for the elections and the poll campaign, the timing of the resignation raises questions over its impact on security.

 Adviser to the Balochistan Chief Minister on Mines and Minerals Mir Umair Muhammad Hasni. — Hasni’s Facebook/File
Adviser to the Balochistan Chief Minister on Mines and Minerals Mir Umair Muhammad Hasni. — Hasni’s Facebook/File

Mr Raisani, while confirming his resignation, announced taking part in the upcoming general elections.

He said here that he had tendered his resignation on Dec 12, and it was accepted by the chief minister today after returning from abroad.

Mr Hasani also sent his resignation to Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Domki, which he accepted.

“I had resigned from the advisership some personal matters,” Mr Hasani said.

However, sources said that Mr Hasni will also contest election from his home constituency.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2023

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