CM Balochistan to likely face no-confidence motion by disgruntled lawmakers today

QUETTA: Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri is expected to face a no-confidence motion to be taken up in a session of the provincial assembly today.

The Balochistan Assembly speaker has restricted live broadcast of today’s proceedings as well as the use of mobile phones inside the assembly hall.

It has been learnt that the motion will be tabled when the session begins at 4pm today.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which has government both in the centre and the province, has stepped up efforts to defuse the ongoing political crisis.

Zehri requires the support of 33 members from a house of 65 to dismiss the motion.

Pakhtunkhawa Awami Milli party, the ruling party’s ally in the province, has 14 seats in the assembly, while National Party has 11 seats.

On the other hand, parties supporting the motion, including Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and Balochistan National Party have four and two and two seats, respectively.

Ten disgruntled PML-N lawmakers are also supporting the no-confidence motion.

Jamaat-Ulema-Islam, which has eight seats, remains undecided on the matter.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in Quetta and presided over a meeting of members of coalition parties in the Balochistan government. Abbasi held consultations over the no-confidence motion against Zehri.

Federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Zahid Hamid, Abdul Qadir Baloch and Aviation Adviser Sardar Mehtab Abbasi State Minister for Petroleum Jam Kamal accompanied the prime minister on the occasion.
Abbasi also held meetings with the governor and chief minister of Balochistan.
Opposition Leader in the Provincial Assembly, Maulana Abdul Wasay, said on Monday that the Balochistan governor, in a bid to convince him, offered to arrange a meeting between him and the prime minister.
Wasay, however, said that he would not sail in two boats at the same time.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) lawmaker Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has claimed that as many as 40 legislators will vote for the no-confidence motion against Zehri.
Bizenjo said that PML-N leader Changez Marri has also rendered his support for the no-confidence motion.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Balochistan chief minister said on Monday that those claiming to have the support of 40 MPAs could not gather more than 20 legislators at their recently held dinner meeting.
Zehri has reportedly said that he will fight against the no-confidence motion and will prove his support in the house.
The close friend earlier told media that Zehri contacted PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on Sunday and conveyed to him that the issue of the no-confidence motion against him needs to be resolved.
According to media, Zehri told Nawaz that a no-confidence motion against him could have an impact on the results of the upcoming general elections.
The no-confidence motion, which was submitted by Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Syed Agha Raza on January 2, was signed by a total of 14 parliamentarians.